Picture of American family keeps changing

06/12/2014 11:20 AM

06/12/2014 1:46 PM

The American family isn’t what it used to be, and the June/July issue of AARP magazine provides details.

“The New American Family” article reports that divorce rates have been dropping among younger couples, but they have increased 50 percent in the last 20 years among baby boomers.

“The baby boomers are likely to have the highest lifetime levels of divorce of any generation born in the 20th century,” the magazine notes, quoting Andrew Cherlin, professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

In its “then” and “now” data box on the American family, AARP notes that in 1970, 40 percent of U.S. households consisted of married couples with children. In 2013 it was just 19 percent.

In 1960, 72 percent of adults were married. By 2012, that dropped to just 51 percent.

In 1960, 5 percent of all births in the U.S. were to unmarried women. By 2012 that figure had skyrocked to 41 percent.

In 1980, 12 percent of U.S. households were multigenerational. By 2009, that had risen to 17 percent with young adults moving back home during the Great Recession to live with mom and dad.


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