Among the big demographic shifts of the past half-century has been the rise of the one-person household. Within living memory, it was relatively rare for people to live alone. Now, it’s not. But there’s considerable variation by ethnicity in the incidence of solo households, according to a report from the Census Bureau that analyzes data for 2005. Among non-Hispanic whites, 28 percent of households consist of a person living alone. The figure for blacks is a bit higher, at 31 percent. It’s markedly lower for Asians (20 percent), and lower still for Hispanics (16 percent). Apart from cultural differences, variations in median age likely contribute to these disparities. For instance, since the Hispanic population in the U.S. skews relatively young (a median age of 27.2, vs. 40.4 for non-Hispanic whites, who are the most elderly cohort), fewer people in this demographic segment are in the prime widow/widower age bracket.
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