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US census finds more children living in 2-parent homes

Japanese Family of Four

KPG-Payless | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 01/21/24

Data from the US Census Bureau is highlighting an uptick in traditional family arrangements, suggesting households with married parents is the ideal.
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Fresh data from the US Census Bureau is shedding light on the living arrangements of families in the nation. The data showed a clear increase in the number of children who live in a home with two parents. While these rates tended to be higher among younger children, a household with both a mother and father remains the preferred arrangement for the raising of children. 

According to the data from the US Census Bureau, it is estimated that a solid 3 in 4 (75%) of US kids aged 6 and below live with two parents, a figure that drops to 68% in the 12-17 age group. Overall, 71.1% of US children live with two parents, a slight uptick from 70.7, in 2007. 

While the majority of these children live in households in which the parents are married, there is a growing portion – 3.2 million, up from 2.2 million in 2007 – who live with unmarried, cohabitating parents. In total, 6 in 10 (60%) of US children live in households with married parents, 5% live with one biological parent and a step-parent, 5% with unmarried cohabitating parents/step-parents, and just over 1 in 4 (26%) live in single parent households. Only 3% of US children live with only their grandparents, and 1% live in foster homes. 

The largest gaps in the study were seen when the data was broken down by racial demographics. Children in Asian households were the most likely to live with their birth parents in a married relationship (81%), followed by children in White households (70%). Children of Hispanic and multiracial households reported living with married birth parents at a rate of 55% and 51% respectively. In Black households, this figure dropped to one-third (33%).

The second largest disparity between groups was seen when the data was broken down by mothers’ education levels. Mothers who have graduated from college or pursued graduate school were far more likely to raise their children in wedlock, at a rate of 82%. Mothers who have only attained a high school diploma or who have dropped out of college reported raising children with a spouse at a rate of 54%. 

See all the results at the US Census Bureau webpage.

ChildrenFamilyMarriageUnited States
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