Just the Facts :: Who Is Family Now?

Mixed-race couples, single parents–they're all part of the new "normal."
Who is family now?

 

Who Is Family Now?

Mixed-race couples, single parents, unmarried couples raising children, divorces—they’re increasingly part of the new “normal.”

who is family now graphic

 

The Recession Has Changed Families

The recession that started in 2008 accelerated trends that were already developing. Young people at the start of their careers are having a hard time making ends meet. And 63 percent of workers ages 50 to 61 say the recession means they’ll put off retirement.

Recession changes families graphic

 

One Income Can't Pay the Bills Anymore

As recently as 1980, a family of three could get by on the income of one parent—as  long as that parent was male. Now that income won’t even cover the average family’s expenditures, let alone the things we’ve come to associate with a middle-class life, such as adequate housing or paying for a child’s college education.

one income graphic

 


Alyssa JohnsonAlyssa B. Johnson researched this fact sheet for What Happy Families Know, the Winter 2011 issue of YES! Magazine.  Alyssa is an editorial intern for YES! Magazine.



Bureau of Labor Statistics, “,” 2001. Table 36: Average annual expenditures and percent distribution of all consumer units, selected periods, 1935-36 to 1998-99.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Interview Survey,” 1980-81, Table 6: Selected characteristics and annual expenditures of urban consumer units classified by composition of consumer unit.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Interview Survey,” 1982-83, Table 5: Selected characteristics and annual expenditures of urban consumer units classified by composition of consumer unit.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, “,” 1984-2009. Expenditure Tables, Size of Consumer Unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics.


U.S. Census Bureau, “,” 2009. Table P-36: Full-Time, Year-Round Workers by Median Income and Sex.


Pew Research Center, “.” June 15, 2010.


U.S. Census Bureau, “,” 2009. Table UC-1, Unmarried Partners of the Opposite Sex, by presence of children, 1960-present.

 

U.S. Census Bureau, “,” 2009. Table MS-1, Marital Status of the Population 15 years Old and Over, by Sex and Race: 1950 to Present.


U.S. Census Bureau, “,” 2009. Table CH-1, Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present.


Pew Research Center, “.” November 24, 2009.


Pew Research Center, “.” September 3, 2009.