Household density around the world is widely dependent on where you live, with global differences highlighted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Household type also differs widely between nations and cities, from solo households to nuclear families and extended family groups. Let's take a look at household density rates in different countries, and try to understand the size and shape of the modern home with respect to population changes and city growth rates around the world.
According to a recent study by Pew
Research, the average global citizen lives in a household of 4.9 people. While
this number has dropped sharply in Europe over recent decades to just 3.1
people, it continues to rise in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Household
density numbers are the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where there are 6.9
people per household. The Middle East and North Africa have a density of 6.2
people, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with 5.0 people, the Latin
America-Caribbean region with 4.6 people, and the North American region with
Extended family groups living under one
roof are the most common household type, accounting for 38% of all people. This
is followed by two-parent "nuclear" households, with two adults
living with their children accounting for 33% of the world’s population.
Extended families are also widespread in Asia, including India at 54%. Despite
such a large household density, two-parent families are the most common
arrangement in the Middle East-North Africa region at 56%. Single parent homes
are also widespread, especially in North America and the United Kingdom at 23%
and 21% respectively.
The global divergence in household density
numbers is partly due to the growing movement away from rural areas towards
cities. According to separate figures from the United Nations, 55% of the
global population lives in urban areas, a number that is expected to rise to
60% by 2030, and 68% by 2050. Almost 90% of population growth is occurring in
Asia and Africa, where incomes are lower, households are larger, and
infrastructure is stretched. One in three global citizens currently live in
cities with at least 500,000 residents.
There are now 33 megacities in the world, a
title given to ultra-large metropolises with more than 10 million inhabitants.
By 2030, the world is projected to have 43 megacities, most of them in
developing regions. Tokyo is the world’s largest city, with a huge total of 37
million residents. The Japanese megacity is followed by New Delhi with 29
million, Shanghai with 26 million, and Mexico City and São Paulo with 22
million inhabitants. Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing, and Dhaka follow closely behind
with 20 million inhabitants. Despite its massive size, numbers are falling in
Tokyo, with Delhi projected to become the most populous city in the world by