Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Topic 05

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below gives statistics about the size of US households over a number of years. (Household = all the people living together in one house.) Study the information and answer the question.

Write a short report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

Write at least 150 words.

US household by size 1790-1990

Year Per cent distribution of number of households Average population per household
1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person 5 person 6 person 7 person
1790 3.7% 7.8% 11.7% 13.9% 13.9% 13.2 35.8% 5.4
1890 3.6% 13.2% 16.7% 16.8% 15.1% 11.6% 23.0% 4.9
1990 24.6% 32.2% 17.2% 15.6% 6.7% 2.3% 1.4% 2.6

model answer:

We can see from the table that households in the US have become much smaller over the last 200 years. Households in 1790 had an average of 5.4 members but by 1990 the figure had fallen by about half to only 2.6.

In 1790 35.8% of all households had seven members. This was still the most common household size in 1890 but the proportion had dropped slightly to 23%. One-person households were the least common, representing less than 4% of the total in both 1790 and 1890. By 1990, however, there had been a major change. Now only about 1% of household had seven members, while 56.8% of all households consisted of only one or two people.

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