Out of the 43.7 million renter households that existed in the U.S. in 2015, 20.7 million were “nonfamily” households, which consisted either of one person or two or more roommates. Overall, the number of nonfamily renter households has increased by 330,000 per year since 2007, after the peak of the housing boom.
For the most part, single-renter household creation has outpaced roommate-renter household creation on a yearly basis for eight out of the past 10 years, according to Axiometrics. But while single-renter growth has averaged 1.4% since 2007, roommate-renter growth has averaged 2.9% in the same period. Roommate-renter household growth spiked up to 4.8% per year in 2009 during the Great Recession, and again in 2013 as home prices rose.
Roommate-renter household creation has risen the most among renters ages 15 to 34, although Axiometrics surmises that a spike in roommate-renter households ages 35 to 64 in 2010 can be attributed to the foreclosure crisis. Roommate-renter households ages 65+ have also been increasing, averaging more than 15,000 new households annually since 2011.