It’s been said that a family is what you make it, and families certainly do come in all types and varieties. Here are some facts and statistics regarding the structure of family life today.
More children are born into non-traditional family structures
In 1960, only 5% of children were born to unmarried mothers. As of 2010, this number had hit 41% and continues to steadily climb. (Mundy, 2012) When you further factor in divorce rates, this means that the overwhelming majority of kids today will spend at least a part of their childhood with a single parent or in a broken home.
Divorce & remarriage rates
Anywhere from 52% to 62% of all first marriages will end in divorce, according to the National Step-Family Resource Center. Around 75% of these divorcees will remarry, and around 65% of remarriages will involve kids from the previous marriage. In addition, around 60% of all remarriages will end in divorce. (Krantz, 2011)
Around 1 in 5 Americans ages 25 to 34 are living in multigenerational households, which is roughly double the rate of 1980. (Ford, 4-9-2012) The number of children living with a grandparent has increased 64% over the past 2 decades. Based on 2009 U.S. Census data, 7.8 million out of the 74.1 million kids in the USA (or around 10.6%) lived with at least one grandparent, up from 4.7 million in 1991. (Jayson, 6-30-2011)
U.S. Households by family type
As of 2007, the U.S. households by type were as follows:
1. Married couples with no kids at home: 31.4 million
2. Married couples with kids under age 18: 24.2 million
3. Unmarried with kids under 18: 11 million
4. Unmarried, no children: 8 million
5. Non-family households (person living alone or with unrelated people) :37 million (Gibbs, 2007)
More than 40% of American adults have at least one step-relative, such as a son or daughter form a spouse’s previous marriage or relationship. (Krants, 2011)
Out of wedlock births by race, demographic
The number of children born out of wedlock can vary by demographic. Around 80% of first children born to black women are born outside of marriage; 18% of these to cohabiting parents. Among Hispanics, 53% of firstborns entered the world outside of marriage, 30% to cohabiting parents. Among whites, the rate of firstborns outside marriage was 34%, with 20% of these to cohabiters. Asians had the lowest rate of out-of-wedlock first births at 13%, with 7% of these to cohabiting women. (N=12,279; face-to-face interviews) The study also found that the average age when their first child was born was 23 for women, 25 for men. (Jayson, 4-12-2012)