Solo Americans

20.6 million live alone

After nearly two decades of free-fall decline, are more traditional American values making a comeback? According to a mid-decade report on American household characteristics issued last week by the U.S. Census Bureau, the signals are mixed. While some experts believe that families are stabilizing, the average household size continues to decline and the number of people living alone is up dramatically.

On the surface, at least, the census statistics continue to show a dramatic deterioration in orthodox marriages. Between 1970 and this year, the share of married couples among the nation's 86.8 million households fell from 70.5% to 58%, replaced by...

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