Just The Facts

Evolving U.S. Families

The role of marriage and motherhood has changed in U.S. women’s lives.

Credit: Robert Álvarez www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • The US has the third-highest marriage rate and the third-highest divorce rate in the OECD.
  • The average number of children U.S. women gave birth to declined to 2.0 from 3.1 in 1976.
  • Single-parent households account for about 30% of white U.S. families with children.

1. 67.1 million adult U.S. women are married. 5.2 million are stay-at-home moms. (Fewer than 200,000 U.S. men are stay-at-home dads.)

2. Almost a quarter of married couple families with children under 15 have a stay-at-home mom.

3. The United States has the third-highest marriage rate and the third-highest divorce rate in the OECD. Both rates are down from past decades.

4. 85% of U.S. women have given birth at least once by age 44 – down five percentage points from 1976.

5. The average number of children U.S. women gave birth to declined to 2.0 from 3.1 in 1976.

6. Single-parent households account for about 30% of white U.S. families with children, 40% of Hispanic and two-thirds of black families.

7. There are more than 10 million U.S. families headed by a mother alone and a few million headed by a father alone.

8. Single-parent households often face significant economic hurdles to cover housing and childcare costs on one income.

9. Jobs flexible enough to accommodate time at home with the children also often carry downsides such as reduced income and benefits.

10. Working around childcare timing and costs also limits a parent’s ability to prepare for the cost of retirement later.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, OECD, The Globalist Research Center

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