The number of traditional "Leave It to Beaver" families with mother, father and young children will continue to decline into the next century, new state data show. New projections of state and county households have just been published in Tomorrow's Households: The Next 30 Years, a report produced by the State Demographer's Office at Minnesota Planning.
The study projects that the total number of households will grow from 1.7 million in 1990 to 2.1 million in 2020, with households becoming smaller and older. The number of married-couple families with children is projected to decline over that period.
"The household trends are being driven by the aging of the population," said Martha McMurry, a research analyst at Minnesota Planning. The number of husband-wife families with children is projected to decrease primarily because there will be smaller number in the age groups in which people are most likely to have children living at home. Along with the aging population, minority population growth and shifting lifestyles also are expected to affect household change.
The largest increase in households will occur among married couples without children living at home and among one-person households. As baby boomers hit their 40's, 50's and 60's, there will be a large gain in the number of "empty-nester" couples whose children have grown and left home. Many people in these age groups also are likely to become widowed or divorced and to live alone.
Some of Minnesota's rural counties are projected to have substantial household losses, with several counties having declines in every type of household. The Twin Cities suburbs are projected to see the fastest growth in households. Projected household changes by county are tied to projected changes in population.
"Households drive many government services, such as water and sewer and firefighting." said State Demographer Tom Gillaspy. "Minnesota governments need to be prepared for the changes that can be expected." Gillaspy added that businesses are interested in household changes because consumption patterns vary by type of household. For example, empty-nester households are probably more interested in financial or retirement planning than in diapers or bicycles.
Tomorrow's Households: The Next 30 Years is the third in a four part series The Next 30 Years. Previous reports covered statewide and county population trends through the year 2020. The final publication in the series will be about labor force projections.
This 46-page report contains a description of future household trends with maps and tables projecting households by county and type. Other tables show projections of household type by age.