More Households in the U.S. Have Pets Than Children

By Kelly Leighton | April 6, 2023 | 2 min. read

Seventy percent of U.S. households have a pet in their home, while only 40% have a child.

According to recent data shared by the National Association of Realtors®, the share of households with children dropped from 48% to 40% over the last two decades. As the number of households with a child decreased, the number of households with a pet has seen steady growth. In 1988, just 56% of households had a pet, while in 2019, that number grew to 67%. Post-pandemic, 70% of households now have a pet.

Americans are spending more time on their pets than in the past as well. In 2002, 13.2% of Americans said they spent time every day on their pets and that number rose to 19.7% in 2021. Nearly 50 million American households have dogs, while 28 million have cats. Homeowners are more likely to have pets than renters at 56% compared to 38%.

While more homebuyers were looking for properties that had the right features for a house with kids previously, Realtors® should continue to see an uptick of consumers looking for the perfect house for their furry friends. The report found that 19% of all buyers said they thought of their pet when looking at neighborhoods. This included 32% of unmarried couples, 25% of single women, 16% of single men and 14% of married couples. For those who considered their pet when shopping for a home, 40% looked into larger lots or space, 33% wanted to be near parks or other recreation and 24% factored in walkability. Comparatively, for those not considering a pet when homebuying, 25% considered larger lots or acreage, 15% factored in closeness to parks and recreation and 14% considered the walkability of a neighborhood.

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