Long-Term Dynamics of Household Size and Their Environmental Implications

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Sep 29, 2014 | Population and Environment, Mason Bradbury, Nils Peterson, Jianguo Liu

In this article from the journal Population and Environment, Mason Bradbury, Nils Peterson and Jianguo Liu present an historical assessment of global shifts in average household size. Their findings reveal that developed nations reached a threshold in 1893 when average household size began to drop from approximately 5.0 to 2.5 today. Excepting Ireland, and England and Wales in the early 1800s, and India and the Seychelles in the late 1900s, the number of households grew faster than population size in every country and every period. These findings suggest that this may pose one of the greatest environmental challenges of the twenty-first century because the impacts of increased housing present a threat to sustainability even when population growth slows.

http://csis.msu.edu/sites/csis.msu.edu/files/Longterm housing.pdf


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