Married Couples Are No Longer a Majority in U.S.

Ozzie & HarrietSabrina Tavernise writes in the New York Times:

Married couples have dropped below half of all American households for the first time, the Census Bureau says, a milestone in the evolution of the American family toward less traditional forms.

Married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010, according to data being made public Thursday and analyzed by the Brookings Institution. This was slightly less than in 2000, but far below the 78 percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950.

What is more, just a fifth of households were traditional families — married couples with children — down from about a quarter a decade ago, and from 43 percent in 1950, as the iconic image of the American family continues to break apart.

In recent history, the marriage rate among Americans was at its highest in the 1950s, when the institution defined gender roles, family life and a person’s place in society. But as women moved into the work force, cohabitation lost its taboo label, and as society grew more secular, marriage lost some of its central authority.

“The days of Ozzie and Harriet have faded into the past,” said William Frey, the senior demographer at Brookings who analyzed the data. (The proportion of married couples slipped below half over the past decade, but was first reported as a precise count by the 2010 census.)

Read More: New York Times

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  • Anonymous

    Considering how many friends I have that are living together with children, I’m not all that surprised. Sure they offer a few tax incentives and what not, but most people I know just don’t see the value in getting married or how it would change their lives in any way because of a piece of paper. Most of my friends who are married did it for religious reasons. I’m guessing if you’re not into religion, and in some ways we’re not anymore, then you’re not into marriage.

  • SF2K01

    Considering how many friends I have that are living together with children, I’m not all that surprised. Sure they offer a few tax incentives and what not, but most people I know just don’t see the value in getting married or how it would change their lives in any way because of a piece of paper. Most of my friends who are married did it for religious reasons. I’m guessing if you’re not into religion, and in some ways we’re not anymore, then you’re not into marriage.

  • Hadrian999

    could it be that this is the effect of the current generation growing up in messed up families and saying no thanks

  • Hadrian999

    could it be that this is the effect of the current generation growing up in messed up families and saying no thanks

  • Hadrian999

    could it be that this is the effect of the current generation growing up in messed up families and saying no thanks

  • Tech95

    This has everything to do with socio-economical factors.  Everything.
    It’s the same in every post-industrial society, so go figure.

  • Tech95

    This has everything to do with socio-economical factors.  Everything.
    It’s the same in every post-industrial society, so go figure.

  • Guest

    It’s a direct reflection of consumerism and how, in the ’50s, when television started entering homes, this provided a platform for corporate propaganda to drive sales. If anybody recalls, this is the time when companies like Listerine started marketing their product by making up illnesses and diseases such as “chronic halitosis” to sell their product by making people think they need it, rather than leaving it up to the consumer to want it. The same goes for families and their respected genders because a family of a man, wife, daughter, and son are likely to buy across a range of products directed towards men, women, and children of both genders. Consumerism has shaped our “family values” since its creation. Also consider how else it shapes our psychological and social development with, for example, how the mainstream market of music, movies, and television is driven towards 13-year-olds. The corporations are the trend-setters, and determine whether you will be buying your clothes at Abercrombie or American Eagle this school year. This further defines our group and social class in society, the success rate of students (academically and socially), and subconsciously fuels a political agenda in the minds of those that aren’t even old enough to care or vote yet. Children are a hot market in our society. It would only make sense that now that corporations aren’t making as much money, it would directly affect how we view the “traditional American family”. It was always a lie.

  • Guest

    It’s a direct reflection of consumerism and how, in the ’50s, when television started entering homes, this provided a platform for corporate propaganda to drive sales. If anybody recalls, this is the time when companies like Listerine started marketing their product by making up illnesses and diseases such as “chronic halitosis” to sell their product by making people think they need it, rather than leaving it up to the consumer to want it. The same goes for families and their respected genders because a family of a man, wife, daughter, and son are likely to buy across a range of products directed towards men, women, and children of both genders. Consumerism has shaped our “family values” since its creation. Also consider how else it shapes our psychological and social development with, for example, how the mainstream market of music, movies, and television is driven towards 13-year-olds. The corporations are the trend-setters, and determine whether you will be buying your clothes at Abercrombie or American Eagle this school year. This further defines our group and social class in society, the success rate of students (academically and socially), and subconsciously fuels a political agenda in the minds of those that aren’t even old enough to care or vote yet. Children are a hot market in our society. It would only make sense that now that corporations aren’t making as much money, it would directly affect how we view the “traditional American family”. It was always a lie.

  • guest

    hmmmmm….

  • guest

    hmmmmm….

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