Short answer: Almost 80%, living in almost 95% of the city’s rental units

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Almost 80% of West Hollywood’s residents are renters — 27,000 people on average over the years 2011 to 2013. Among renters, almost 80% live alone or with just one other person. These small households occupy almost 95% of the city’s rental housing. That’s an unusual concentration of small households, with implications for the City’s housing and development policies.


Small households as a % of renters and rental units

The following chart shows the number of West Hollywood renters in small (one- or two-person) households. For our purposes, “renters” means everyone who lives there, not just the person who signed the lease. The number of small households is expressed both as a percentage of renters and as a percentage of renter-occupied housing units. You can hover over or touch the bars to see the percentages.

Source: Calculated using data from the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2011-2013, Tables B25009 and B25008. For example, the % of renters is the number of renters in small households divided by the total number of renters from Table B25008. The number of renters in small households is the number of renter-occupied units with one-person households plus two times the number of renter-occupied units with two-person households from Table B25009.

The chart shows that:

  • 79% of West Hollywood renters live in small (one- or two-person) households
  • 41% live alone
  • 38% live with one other person (spouse, roommate, child, parent, etc.)
  • 94% of the city’s rental housing units are occupied by a small household
  • 64% have someone living alone
  • 30% have two people living there

Comparing the % of renters

We can see how unusual these numbers are in the chart below. It compares the percentage of West Hollywood renters who live in small households to selected cities. You can see the exact numbers by hovering over or touching the bars.

Source: Calculated using data from the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2011-2013, Tables B25009 and B25008.

If we look at nearby cities, the closest comparison is Santa Monica, but West Hollywood’s percentage is still significantly higher. 64% of Santa Monica’s renters are in small households versus 79% here. Specifically, 33% of their renters live alone (versus 41% in West Hollywood) and 31% live with one other person (versus 38% here).

Of the cities in the chart, Los Angeles has the lowest proportion of renters living in small households. 13% of its renters live alone and 19% live with one other person. That’s a total of 32% in small households, versus 79% in West Hollywood.


Comparing the % of rental units

The chart below compares the percentage of rental units occupied by small households in selected cities. You can see the numbers by hovering over or touching each bar piece.

Source: Calculated using data from the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2011-2013, Table B25009.

Santa Monica is once again the closest comparison, with small households in 85% of renter-occupied housing units. That’s still lower than West Hollywood’s 94%. Glendale has the lowest percentage in the chart, 59%.

If we split small households into one-person and two-person households, we see a difference. For two-person households, West Hollywood’s percentage is roughly the same as the other cities. For one-person households, the percentage ranges from 64% in West Hollywood to 30% in Glendale.


Other comparisons

We may wonder whether small households are as common among owners in West Hollywood as they are among renters. The answer is “almost”. The chart below shows the small-household percentages for renter-occupied and owner-occupied units: 94% versus 91%.

Sources: 2011-2013 estimates calculated using data from the US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2011-2013, Table B25009. 1990 estimate from West Hollywood General Plan 2035: 2013-2021 Housing Element Technical Appendix, December, 2013, p. 20, which is also sourced to the Census Bureau.

We may also ask whether the number of small households has increased over time. The answer is “yes, from high to a bit higher”. The chart above shows the percentage of total occupied units with small households in 1990 versus 2011-2013. It was 89% in 1990 versus 93% 20+ years later. Even the 1990 value is higher than any of the comparison cities today.

Revised on December 11, 2015.

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Short answer: Almost 80%, living in almost 95% of the city's rental units| Almost 80% of West Hollywood's residents are renters -- 27,000 people on average over the years 2011 to 2013. Among renters, almost 80% live alone or with just one other person. These small households occupy almost...