Nielsen: U.S. TV Households to Climb by a Million

The number of television households in the U.S. will climb by one million to 115.9 million for the 2010-2011 broadcast season, a 0.8 percent increase, according to Nielsen’s new universe estimates released today.

The number of persons age two and older will increase by more than 2 million for a total of 294,650,000.

Market ranks in the top 10 markets remain the same as last year. But in the top 20 markets, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale moved up one rank to No. 16, on the addition of 42,490 households. Even though Denver added 33,360 TV households, it slipped one rank to No. 17.

There were a number of rank changes in the top 50 markets. Charlotte and Pittsburgh traded ranks, with Charlotte moving up to No. 23, pushing Pittsburgh to No. 24. Indianapolis fell two ranks to No. 27, as Raleigh-Durham moved up one rank to No. 25 and Baltimore moved up one rank to No. 26. Kansas City moved up one rank to No. 31 and Salt Lake City slipped to No. 32. Austin moved up four places in rank to No. 44. Albuquerque-Santa Fe dropped two ranks to No. 46. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem dropped one rank to No. 47. Memphis moved up two ranks to No. 48, while Jacksonville slipped two ranks to No. 49. Louisville dropped one rank to No. 50.

For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ rank declined from No. 51 to No. 52. Though the population increased, new estimates reflect more people per household than previous estimates.

Overall, there were fewer rank changes among the 210 markets measured by Nielsen than previous seasons, reflecting slower household growth in the U.S. and large declines in domestic migration, particularly to the Sun Belt areas. Major metropolitan areas lost less population than usual due to baby boomers delaying retirement plans, individuals unable to sell homes, and people unwilling to move away from job-heavy markets.

Nielsen will be releasing ethnic universe estimates in the coming weeks.