Picture the typical American family: what do you see? You probably imagine a married mom and dad with a couple of kids — think the Draper family, circa Season 1 of Mad Men. You probably know that that ideal has held true for fewer and fewer families over the decades. But new data from the Pew Research Center shows that fewer than half of American kids now grow up in one of these “traditional” families.
As of 2013, only 46 percent of U.S. kids live in a traditional family structure of two parents in their first marriage. An additional 15 percent live with a parent who has been remarried at least once, 34 percent live with a single parent, and 5 percent have no parent at home — this latter group is most likely living with a grandparent, according to Pew. By contrast, 73 percent of American kids lived with a traditional family back in 1960.
Looking at the chart, it’s clear that the change is less a function of remarriages, and more due to the sharp rise in single parenting. As Emily Badger wrote last week, 41 percent of births these days are to unmarried mothers. Among black mothers, that figure rises to an astonishing 72 percent.