The recession has more than halved the formation of new households.

Between March 2007 and March 2008, the number of new households grew by 772,000, compared with an increase of 1.63 million a year earlier, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

New households results in fewer home sales and rentals, less furniture sold, and less work for electricians, carpenters, painters-and real estate professionals.

Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates that the glut of 1.5 million new homes created during the housing boom would be gone now if households had been forming at historical levels.

The downturn also has pushed down immigration levels. Even inflows of illegal immigrants have stopped rising since 2008, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Source: The Miami Herald, Annys Shin (07/11/2009)