Study: 46% of U.S. children live in a 'traditional' family

The idea of growing up in a 'traditional' family is a part of the past.

According to a new survey, less than half (46%) of U.S. children under the age of 18 live in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage.

The Pew Research Center analyzed a recently-released American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census data and found that this number has dropped from 73% in 1960 and 61% in 1980.

The study also finds that:

  • Americans are delaying marriage and may pass on getting married all together.

  • The number of children born outside marriage is now at 41% - up 5% since 1960.

  • 15% of children are living with two parents who are in a remarriage.

  • 34% of children today are living with an unmarried parent—up from just 9% in 1960, and 19% in 1980.


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