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U.S. Family Characteristics Changing
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 6:50 AM

A new U.S. Census Bureau report shows that the number of households with children under 18 who had at least one unemployed parent rose by 33 percent, from 2.4 million to 3.2 million, between 2005 and 2011. In some states, the rise was much sharper.

The “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012” report also disclosed the following information:

  • Sixty-six percent of households in 2012 were family households, down from 81 percent in 1970.
  • Between 1970 and 2012, the share of households that were married couples with children under 18 halved from 40 percent to 20 percent.
  • The proportion of one-person households increased by 10 percentage points between 1970 and 2012, from 17 percent to 27 percent.
  • Between 1970 and 2012, the average number of people per household declined from 3.1 to 2.6.
  • Married couples made up most (63 percent) of the family groups with children under the age of 18.
  • While, on average, 25 percent of families are a single parent household, black children (55 percent) and Hispanic children (31 percent) were more likely to live with one parent than non-Hispanic White children (21 percent) or Asian children (13 percent).
  • During the latest recession, the percentage of stay-at-home mothers declined and did not return to its prerecession level until 2012.
  • During the latest recession, homeownership among households with their own children under the age of 18 fell by 15 percent, primarily due to unemployment.

The changing dynamics of the household will have a lasting effect on future consumer purchases such as homes (especially sizes of homes), housing in general (rental versus purchase), and other durable goods.

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)