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Significant drop in ‘traditional families’

The number of children living in ‘traditional families’ has dropped significantly over the last few decades, new research suggests.

In a newly published study, the Pew Research Center defined such a household as one in which the children are under 18 years old, the mother stays at home while the father works and both parents are in their first marriage. Using information from the US Census Bureau, they found that – in 1960 – half of all American children lived in these circumstances. However, that number has plunged since then, with only 14 per cent of children now living in a ‘traditional’ family.

Children living with single parents have become more common in the same timeframe, rising from nine per cent in 1960 to more than a quarter of children today. However, the percentage of parents who have married again has barely changed, rising only one per cent since the 1960s.

Seven per cent of American children have parents who live together but are not married. Back in 1960, such parents were grouped with the single parents so it was not possible for the researchers to determine how much that had changed.

The Pew Research Center is a polling and statistics-gathering organisation based in Washington DC.

In November, the Office for National Statistics confirmed that cohabiting couples are now the fastest growing family type in the UK.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Gregory says:

    When social policy and family-related law contrive to ensure that ‘anything goes’ then anything goes. Eventually society pays a price for this, the children of separated parents most of all.

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