Changing definition of "household"

The Washington Post had an exellent story today about how more families in the region are living in extended-family households. Adult children are moving back in with their parents, grandparents are now living with grandchildren and more families are sharing housing with non-relatives. It's all another consequence of the weak economy and job market, as well as the continuing effect of the foreclosure crisis.

Meanwhile, single-mother headed households have been declining in D.C. and in some parts of the region, including Alrington, Alexandria and Prince George's County. Meanwhile, they are increasing in Montgomery, Fairfax and Prince William counties. The Examiner wrote about this in June. This could be the effect of gentrification, with an influx of young professionals and baby boomers moving into the city,

We are doing our own digging into the latest Census figures to learn more about the definition of households in D.C. Here are some of the interesting points we're finding:

  • In 2009, only 22.8% of all households in DC were married-couple family households. This has been pretty consistent at 22-ish% since 2000.
  • In households with children, about half (51.8%) are married couple families, which has increased slightly since 2000. 
  • In households with children, the percentage of Hispanic single-mother households has increased, from 25.1% in 2000 to 33.4% in 2009.

For more information on how families and communities are changing in the District, view our Census issue brief from April, A Tale of Three Cities.

Finally, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Book was released yesterday and continues to spark coverage on how the economy is affecting already-vulnerable families. If you haven't read it yet, here's the link to see the whole report or D.C.'s profile. There will be a story on today's PBS NewsHour.

We just received a call from a producer at CNN looking to interview a family in D.C. that has been impacted by the foreclosure crisis and unemployment. Please email me at with any leads.