- December 15, 2011
Source: The Washington Post, Married households with children, 1990
Things were different in the 90s. The internet was just becoming widely adopted and we had not yet heard of the phrase “social media”. We made the switch from Walkmans to Discmans and hadn’t yet dreamed about all those ubiquitous products we can’t iLive without. And… the idea of being “married with children” was still fairly common.
Source: The Washington Post, Married households with children, 2010
Today, less than 21% of the total households in the US are married with children under 18. In 1990, this number was 26.3%. The decline has been steady since the 1960s, when this number was 40.2%! (By comparison, married households without children have head relatively steady since the 1960s, only dropping from 30.3% to 28.0% between 1960 and 2000.)
Compare this to other stats and you’ll see a decline in married households in general, but a rise in single parent households and folks electing to live alone. Our changing definition of “the American family” is increasingly evident as folks are waiting until they are older to get married (if they do at all) or foregoing marriage all together and choosing to have children out of wedlock. Rather than waxing poetic about the potential social and economic implications of this shifting paradigm, I invite you check out this great interactive visualization of Census data from the Washington Post and perhaps dig into our census data to discover your own insights.