Marriage & Family

See the data and analysis on marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and children’s living arrangements.

Marriage & Family Charts

 
  • Detailed children’s living arrangements Despite recent decline, two-thirds of children live with married parents About 60 percent of all children live with two married biological or adoptive parents. More than a quarter live with only one parent.
  • Currently married women and anniversaries Most currently married women have been married for at least fifteen years More than half of women currently married have reached their 15-year wedding anniversary. Compared to 1996, recent current marriages tend to be slightly more enduring, regardless of race, reflecting the leveling off of divorces and longer life expectancy, according to the Census Bureau.
  • Mother's education attainment by marital status Intact marriage positively associates with the mother's education Married mothers in intact families tend to be the most educated — more than 38 percent have at least a college degree. By comparison, about 21 percent of mothers in married stepfamilies have at least a college degree, and less than 15 percent of single mothers are college educated.
  • Percent of men reaching various anniversaries Recent marriages are slightly more lasting for men Nearly 77 percent of men married for the first time in the early 1990s reached their 10th anniversary, three percentage points higher than men married in the early 1980s.
  • Marital history The majority of adults have been married Since 1996, the share of ever-married adults has decreased. In 2009, two in three men and less than three in four women have ever been married. About one in five men and women has ever divorced.
  • Marriage rate for women The annual marriage rate has declined significantly in the past generation Today, the marriage rate-the annual number of marriages per 1,000 unmarried women-is less than half of what it was four decades ago.
  • Children living in mother-only households Almost half of children in single-mother homes live with never-married mothers Nearly one in two children in single-mother homes live with mothers who have never been married. Four decades ago, that figure was one in 16, one-seventh of today’s figure.
  • Percent of ever-divorced individuals By age 45, about one in three Americans born in the 1950s had divorced Divorce is common for many Americans. Among those whose marital histories are fairly complete, i.e., those born before 1950, about one in three had been divorced.
  • White children's living arrangements More than one in five white children lives in a single-parent home Since 1960, the percentage of white children living in single-parent homes has increased from 7 percent to nearly 23 percent.
  • Black children's living arrangements More than half of all African-American children live in a single-parent home Since 1960, the percentage of African-American children living in single-parent homes has more than doubled, from 22 percent to 53 percent.
  • Hispanic children's living arrangements More than one in four Hispanic children live in a single-parent home Since 1980, the percentage of Hispanic children living in single-parent homes has increased from 21 percent to 29 percent.
  • Children's living arrangements More than one in four children live in a single-parent home In 1960, nearly nine in 10 children lived with two parents. Today less than seven in 10 live with two parents. Instead, children are increasingly living with only their mothers, up from less than one in 10 in 1960 to more than one in five today.
  • Percent cohabiting couples Nearly 12 percent of couples living together are unmarried The percentage of unmarried couples living together has increased ten-fold, from slightly more than one percent of all couples in 1960 to nearly 12 percent in 2011.
  • Median age at first marriage Men and women are marrying later Since the 1960s, men and women have been increasingly marrying later. The median age at first marriage has risen to nearly 29 years for men and to more than 26 years for women.
  • Percent of married adults The proportion of married adults has decreased Over the past six decades, the percentage of adults who are married has steadily declined among all Americans. The decline has occurred more rapidly among African-American adults, among whom less than 40 percent are married.
  • Percent of ever-married individuals Both men and women are less likely to marry in their twenties By age 25, about one-third of men and less than one-half of women have ever been married. A generation ago, about two-thirds of men and three-fourths of women had married by age 25.
  • Family meals and teen substance use Teens who frequently eat dinner with family are less likely to use drugs or alcohol Compared to teens who have two or fewer family dinners per week, those who have five or more are at least half as likely to have used tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana. They are also less likely to say they would try these substances in the future or that they have friends who use them.
  • Women reaching 10th and 20th wedding anniversaries f... Recent marriages are lasting longer Nearly 75 percent of the women married for the first time in the early 1990s reached their 10th wedding anniversary, a 3-percentage-point increase compared to women married in the early 1980s.
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