In Denver, living with a roommate is less common than you’d think

How living arrangement shift over time.
A mid-modern home on S. Edison Way in Virginia Village. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) virginia village; denver; residential real estate; houses; midmod; denverite; kevinjbeaty;
A mid-modern home on S. Edison Way in Virginia Village. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

You’ve probably heard a lot lately about how millennials are living with their parents or how much money you can save with a roommate. (In Denver, it’s about $405 a month.)

So for this chart of the week, a look at how Denver is actually living, according to data from the latest American Community Survey. 

Overall, most people over the age of 18 are living with a spouse in Denver. The ACS also tracks people living with “other nonrelatives” — which includes boarders, foster children and roommates. Here, I’ve shortened it to roommates.

Nationally, the distribution is mostly the same — most people, 48 percent, are living with a spouse. Even in Seattle, my favorite urban comparison to Denver, almost 40 percent of people are living with a spouse.

But frankly, that breakdown doesn’t quite resemble the distribution among people I know. When you break down living arrangement by age groups, the picture for Denver comes better into focus.

For the under-35 set in Denver, living with a parent or other relative is more common than living with a spouse, but only barely. Then it’s living with a roommate, followed by living alone.

Over time though, the picture shifts. Living alone became a bigger share, and living with a roommate drops off:

How living arrangement shift over time.
How living arrangement shift over time.

So if you really want a place totally to yourself, just wait until you’re 65, I guess.

Methodology notes: Beginning in 2013, unless otherwise specified, “Spouse” and “married couple” includes same-sex married couples. This analysis uses the five year estimates of the American Community Survey from 2011 to 2015.