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Household Relationship and Type


Every 10 years as of April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census of the nation’s population. While some people live in group quarters, such as nursing homes, most live in households. The decennial census questionnaire sent to households asked respondents to first list the person who owns or rents the housing unit. Using the following options, respondents provided the relationship of each other person in the household expressed relative to the first person listed:

  • Husband or wife
  • Biological son or daughter
  • Adopted son or daughter
  • Stepson or stepdaughter
  • Brother or sister
  • Father or mother
  • Grandchild
  • Parent-in-law
  • Son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • Other relative
  • Roomer or boarder
  • Housemate or roommate
  • Unmarried partner
  • Other nonrelative

Household relationship data are expressed in terms of the number of people while data on household type provide counts of the number of households. Data for 2010 are presented on Arizona Indicators for the United States, Arizona, and the 15 Arizona counties for both household relationship and household type. Changes between 2000 and 2010 are provided for Arizona and the United States. Additional data, for example for smaller geographic areas and for earlier censuses, are available from the Census Bureau.

Data Source: 

U. S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau. For 2010 data: For 2000 data:

Data Quality Comments: 

The decennial census is intended to be a count of all residents. However, some people are missed, either by the entire household being uncounted or by individuals not included in the list of people living in the household (for example, an undocumented immigrant staying with legal residents may be omitted).

Household Relationship, 2010

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Visualization Notes:

Among all Arizona residents counted in 2010, householders represented 37 percent. Others living in households included spouses (18 percent), children (29 percent), other relatives (7 percent), unmarried partners (3 percent), and other nonrelatives (4 percent). The remainder of the population (2 percent) lived in group quarters. Compared to the national average, Arizona had fewer householders (due to Arizona’s higher average household size) and fewer spouses, but more unmarried partners. Arizona also had more relatives other than a child living with the householders.

The percentages in each category vary across Arizona’s counties. For example, the proportion of unmarried partners is highest in La Paz and Mohave counties, in which senior citizens account for high percentages of the populace.

iconHousehold Relationship, Change, 2000 to 2010

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Visualization Notes:

The percentages of people in each of the categories of household relationship did not change much between 2000 and 2010 in Arizona. The relatively large increase in other relatives may be temporary, as family members moved in together during the recession. Compared to the nation, Arizona had a lesser decrease in the share of children, offset in the other nonrelative category.

Household Type, 2010

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Visualization Notes:

Among all Arizona households counted in 2010, nearly two-thirds were considered to be families (defined as more than one related individual living in the same household). Husband-wife families made up 48 percent of all households, male head of family (no wife present) accounted for 6 percent, and female head of family (no husband present) represented 12 percent. Most of the households not considered to be a family consisted of an individual living alone (26 percent of all households); other nonfamily households (such as roommates) were 8 percent of the total. Compared to the nation, Arizona had proportionately more male-headed families and more in the other nonrelative category, with less in each of the other categories.

The percentages in each category vary across Arizona’s counties. For example, the husband-wife percentage in 2010 ranged from 43 percent in Apache to 57 percent in Yuma. The highest other nonfamily percentage was in Coconino County, presumably due to university students living as roommates.

iconHousehold Type, Change, 2000 to 2010

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Visualization Notes:

Husband-wife families continued to shrink as a percentage of all households between 2000 and 2010 in Arizona, with the decline greater than the national average. Families headed by just one parent rose, as did people living alone, with these gains greater than in the United States.