What does this measure?
The percentage of households composed of married couples (with and without children), singles, and other variations.
Why is this important?
Changes in the types of households in a community can provide insight into the changing structure of families and the proportions of singles living alone.
How is our county doing?
The composition of households in Essex County changed little from 2000 to 2010-14. Individuals living alone (28%) and households composed of married couples without children (27%) continued to be the most common type of household in the county. This was equal to the national rates and very similar to state rates. Those who were married with children (21%) were the next largest household type, followed by single with children households (11%), those people living with relatives (7%) and nonrelatives living together (6%).
How do we compare to similar counties?
Similar to Essex County, the comparison areas did not have much change in their household types from 2000 to 2010-14, with the exception of Lake, IL which had a 6-point decrease in households of married couples with children. The most common household types in Middlesex, MA and Westchester, NY were the same as in Essex County and with similar proportions, people living alone and married couples without children, while Lake had more married couples with children, 30% of the total.
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.