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One factor: Those 65 through 74 are the fastest-growing segment of the population and older adults live in smaller households than younger adults.

The rate at which Americans are creating new households has increased over the past year to reach the highest level since before the recession began in 2007.

And it’s older Americans, not those ages 25 to 34, driving the uptick, according to new research from economist Jed Kolko of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

Americans created 1.27 million households during the year ended in June, Mr. Kolko estimates. That’s in line with Census Department figures showing year-over-year household formation topping 1 million for three straight quarters. A similar streak hasn’t occurred since 2006.

Of those new households, 860,000, or about two-thirds, were created by Americans between 65 and 74 years old. Just 159,000, or 13%, were created by young people between 25 and 34 years old.

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