Less than half of U.S. kids now have a “traditional” family


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Washington Post:

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.


8 replies

  1. The graph shows that the change began between 1960 and 1980. It was the closing years of 14th century Hijra. It was in 1970 when the big business struck the traditional American Family’s income, and the housewife was forced out of the role of housewife to contribute to the family income. It was also in the 1970s that “women liberation” became the fashion.

    Beyond that it was a downward slide for the traditional American Family.


  2. Quran Says in Surah Noor “… Arrange Nikah for those who are widows…”
    Here even first Nikah is in danger. Is there anyone including Ahmadis doing anything to raise the importance of Nikah or Marriage? Or this is just now in the hands of professional marriage websites which just encourage chat, love and some Nikahs – again chat love and then more chat?
    Looks like all are following the same route of distinction. May Allah mercy us! Amin!

  3. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said:
    Blessed is the marriage which comes about with ease and entails no hardship, it must not entail too heavy a burden of expenses nor should the dowry be too much for the bridegroom to pay.

  4. The percentage of 34 regarding single parenting is far too much. If it continues to rise, the society is going to become unbalanced because a child needs two parents(father and mother) to be brought up in a complete way as it both the father and mother who form the nucleus of the family.
    Those who are single parent must remarry to enable every child to get parents of the opposite sex to nurture them or else the society will be full of members with deviant behaviours and characters.
    Fortunately, God in His own wisdom, has permitted polygamy.So people who are capable of marrying more than one should be encouraged to do so in order to reduce the incidence of challenges brought about by single parenthood. This will help widows and divorcees who already have children with their previous spouses to have husbands who will contribute to the upbringing of their children.

  5. @issa boakye

    With respect, I think you have misunderstood the figures above. For starters, some of the 34% in the single parent category live with two parents who are co-habiting or in a same-sex marriage. Secondly, just because a child doesn’t live with both parents, it doesn’t automatically mean the second parent doesn’t play an active and full role in their life. It’s a fact that sometimes it’s better for everyone involved, including the children, that parents no longer remain as a couple, living together.

    “Those who are single parent must remarry to enable every child to get parents of the opposite sex to nurture them or else the society will be full of members with deviant behaviours and characters.”
    That is a simplistic and inaccurate statement, and an insult to all those raised in a “non traditional” home who grow up to be decent, responsible, capable adults, and those who raise them as such. Nor is polygamy the answer. I think you’ll find that most single mothers have no interest in being someone’s second or third wife. And what about single fathers? Are they able to become a woman’s second or third husband? – No, thought not.

  6. @Rafiq:
    Then it should also be made easier for women to marry more than one man, but either way, it’s not the solution for this so-called “problem”.

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