FACTS ABOUT THE AMERICAN FAMILY
1. Departures from the normal nuclear family are now 75% of the American population.
2. Persons living alone account for 1/4 of American households.
3. At least 14% of women in their 20s and 30s will remain childless- -almost 2 times as high as 30 years ago.
4. 1 out of every 5 children is born is to an unwed mother.
5. The U.S. divorce rate is the highest in the world.
6. 49% of marriages made this year will end up in divorce.
7. 1 out 3 of those treated for mental disorders in hospitals is a teenager.
8. 1 out of 10 boys has at least been sexually harassed in their households.
9. 1 out of 3 women has been sexually assaulted before they were 18 and 80% of these assaults happened in their own homes--the most dangerous place for young women is in their own home.
10. 3 out of every 5 children born this year will live in a single- parent household for at least part of their childhood.
11. 94% of American households are dysfunctional.
12. You are more likely to be killed by someone you know than a stranger.
13. 3 out of every 100 adult males in the U.S. are in the corrections system--1 out of every 3 black males has been involved with the corrections system
14. 44% of children in the Commonwealth of Virginia prefer their TV sets to their fathers.
15. 30% of births in the US in 1993 were to unwed mothers--an almost eightfold increase since 1940. The majority of these unmarried mothers were not teenagers or minorities.
16. 60% of births outside marriage in 1993 were to white women, and 70% were to women older than 20.
17. Among married women born between 1954 and 1963, 82% had sex before they were married, compared with 65% among women born a decade earlier.
18. Welfare is not a significant contributor to recent increases in out of wedlock childbearing. Evidence linking welfare benefits with increase in nonmarital births is inconsistent--and when a link is found, it tends to be small.
19. In 1992, 6% of unmarried women with bachelor's degrees had children, up from 2.7% 10 year earlier. Also, the percentage of never-married women in managerial and professional jobs with children rose from 3.1% to 8.6% from 1982 to 1992.
20. The unmarried mother rate for black women slipped from 48.8% in 1982 to 46.2% in 1992, while for white women overall it rose from 6.7% to 12.9%. For teenagers, the single mother rate slipped from 8.2% to 6.5% over that decade.
21. The $36,959 median family income after inflation in 1993 was $66 higher than it was in 1973, even though many more families are supported by two breadwinners.
22. Workers with less than a four-year college degree, now three out of every four workers , have experienced the greatest declines in income. Also most effected are women, younger and blue-collar workers.
23. Since 1985, overall poverty rates for children under 18 have ranged between 19% and 22%, and it is the youngest children who are at greatest risk--24% of children under age 6 in 1992 versuse 21% of all children.
24. From the late 1960s into the 1990s, poverty rates in single-parent homes hovered
around 50%. But whereas in 1965 only 10% of (own) children under 18 lived in single-parent
households, by 1994 it was 25% overall and 60% among African Americans. In 1994,
female-headed households accounted for 54% of all children in poverty, up from 24% in
1960. The figures for African Americans are more astounding still: 82% in 1994 versus
approximately 30% in 1960.
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To gain personalized information on parenting visit the National Parent Information Network.
To learn more about the family visit the Family Research Laboratory. Dr. Murray Strauss is associated with the Family Research Laboratory.
These data were taken from James Hillman's "Myths of the Family" John Bradshaw's "Homecoming", "Public Schools and the Public Good," Karl Alexander, Social Forces, 76:1, Sept. 1997, and the Roanoke Times (Oct. 31, 1995) (September 13, 1996).