Commentary

Number of Married Couples With Kids Hits 56-Year Low

Terence P. Jeffrey
By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 31, 2018 | 5:57 AM EST

(Photo from Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families website)

The number of married couples in the United States who have children under 18 hit a 56-year low in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2017, according to Census Bureau table FM-1, there were 23,651,000 married-couple families in this country with children under 18. The last time there were fewer than that was 1961, when there were 23,514,000.

In the years since 1950, according to Census Bureau data, the number of married couples with children under 18 peaked in 2007, when there were 26,158,000.



But the decline in the traditional family is more dramatically demonstrated by comparing the number of married-couple families with children under 18 to the full population of the country.

In 1961, when there were 23,514,000 married couple families with children under 18, the total population of the United States was 183,691,481. So, there was one married couple with kids for every 7.8 people in the country.

In 2017, when there were 23,651,000 married couples with children under 18, the total population of the United States was 325,719,178. So, there was one married couple with kids for every 13.77 people in the country.

As married couples with children have declined relative to the overall population, single mothers and fathers have increased.

In 1961, there were 2,375,000 one-parent families with children under 18 (including 2,185,000 families with only a mother and 190,000 with only a father). That year there were 77.3 people in the country for each one-parent family.

In 2017, there were 10,641,000 one-parent families with children under 18 (including 8,246,000 with only a mother and 2,395,000 with only a father). That meant there were only 30.6 people in the country for each one-parent family.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected president, according to Census Bureau Table HH-1, there were 80,776,000 households in the United States and 49,112,000 (or 60.8 percent) were married couples (including married couples who did not have children under 18).

 

By 2017, there were 60,804,000 married couples (including those with no children under 18), but they equaled only 48.17 percent of all 126,224,000 households.

In America today, married-couple households represent a minority of the nation's households.

The decline in married couples and married couples with kids will have an economic, cultural and political impact on the future of our country.

Married couples and married couples with kids make more money than other types of households.

In 2016, according to Census Bureau Table HINC-01, the median household income was $59,039 and the average household income was $83,143.

But for married couples, the median income was $87,057 and the average was $112,418. And for married couples with children under 18, according to Table HINC-04, the median income was $94,068 and the average was $120,327.

Culturally, married couples with children can teach their children the moral principles and traditions they learned from their own parents — even if those principles and traditions are more in keeping with the ancient norms of Judeo-Christian civilization than the politically correct doctrines of the public schools and the media.

Politically, married people with children are more conservative than people who do not fit that description. In the 2012 presidential election, according to the network exit poll, married people with children voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama 54 percent to 45 percent.

People who did not fit the description of married with children voted for Obama over Romney 53 percent to 45 percent.

According to the national exit poll for the 2016 election, married voters picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton 52 percent to 44 percent. Unmarried voters picked Clinton over Trump 55 percent to 37 percent.

If you were seeking to advance the causes that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton advanced in this country, you would hope that the trends that are moving people away from lifelong marriage and responsible parenthood would continue.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com.


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