Special Report

The Size of an Average Family in Every State

The United States is a continent-sized country with huge geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic diversity. One demographic measure that varies significantly from state to state is average family size. This variation is probably due to a complex interplay of factors, including race, ethnicity, and religion. 

To identify the states with the biggest and smallest average family size, 24/7 Tempo consulted data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates for 2019. Average household sizes, households with children under 18, and total population are all drawn from the ACS. (Family size per household is expressed fractionally, using decimal points, because it is computed by dividing the household population by the total number of households. A household population of 225,000 in a community of 135,000 households, for instance, would mean an average household size of 1.66.)

The average number of people per household overall in the U.S. was 2.6 as of 2021. Utah claims the No. 1 spot on this list with an average household size 3.08. More than two-thirds of the state’s population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Studies have shown that Mormons marry more and have larger families than people of other faiths. (These are the best and worst states to raise a family.) 

The average household size in Hawaii is 2.95. The state’s highly diverse population includes large numbers of people from backgrounds associated with large families, including Filipinos and Pacific Islanders. Next are California and Texas, with an average household size of 2.94 and 2.84, respectively, and burgeoning Hispanic populations. (These are the most diverse mid-size cities.) 

Click here to see the size of an average family in every state

Maine and Vermont are at the other end of the list – and the other end of the country – each with an average household size of 2.28. Both lack the racial, ethnic, and religious diversity that characterizes some of the states with the largest families.

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