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Population in Households and Group Quarters


Every 10 years as of April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census of the nation’s population. A basic distinction is made between those living in households and those living in group quarters, which include correctional facilities, nursing facilities, college dormitories, military barracks, group homes, homeless shelters, etc.

Those living in group quarters are presented on Arizona Indicators for the United States, Arizona, and the 15 Arizona counties for 2010 as the share of the total population. The average household size in 2010 also is presented for these geographic areas, with the change in household size between 2000 and 2010 and between 1990 and 2000 provided. 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 and 1990 data:

Data Quality Comments: 

The decennial census is intended to be a count of all residents. However, some people are missed. Some housing units or group quarters facilities may not be included and some individuals living in a household or group quarters facility may not be counted.

iconGroup Quarters as a Share of the Population, 2010

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Visualization Notes:

In most counties, the group quarters population accounts for less than 3 percent of the total population; the share in Arizona in 2010 was 2.2 percent, a little less than the U.S. average of 2.6 percent. In a few counties, however, the group quarters share is appreciably larger. In Graham and Pinal counties, the larger share primarily results from a large prison population. In Coconino County, most of those living in group quarters are in dormitories at Northern Arizona University. In Cochise County, a prison and the military barracks at Fort Huachuca account for the relatively large group quarters share.

iconAverage Number of Persons Per Household, 2010

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Visualization Notes:

The average household size in Arizona in 2010 was 2.63, a little higher than the national average of 2.58. Within Arizona, the average ranged from 2.19 in La Paz County to 3.10 in Apache County. The age distribution is a key factor in explaining the variations in average household size. Areas with a high percentage of retirees have a relatively low figure while areas with many families with children living at home have a relatively high average household size.

iconAverage Number of Persons Per Household, Change

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Visualization Notes:

During the nation’s first 200 years, the average household size fell in every decade, usually by a significant amount. During the last two decades, household size has not fallen as much, with increases in size occurring in some areas in one or the other of the last two decades. Arizona’s average household size rose marginally during the 1990s due to an influx of young immigrants, but the average slipped between 2000 and 2010. Nationally, the average fell by a small amount in both decades.