Photo of a gloomy young family with a sad little bou hugging a teddy bear, and his parents with depressed looks

It’s Official: Marriage and Parenthood Are Divorced

When it comes to American parents today, there’s one clear fact: Marriage and Parenthood have filed for divorce. Four in 10 babies are born to mothers who are not married. And when you look only at women under 30, almost two-thirds of babies are born to single women. 

This doesn’t mean that American women are foregoing love altogether, only that they are either not marrying in the first place–or are less frequently remaining married to the same person for life.

Here are some more fascinating facts about the changing face of marriage and families in America:

  • Less than half of American children are living with two parents who are on their first marriage. (Source: 12/17/15, Pew Social Trends, The American Family Today)
  • White women with some college education are giving birth outside of marriage three times as often as they did in 1990. (Source: Child Trends Analysis of National Vital Statistics)
  • Contrary to popular belief, half of all US marriages do not end in divorce. The overall rate is closer to a third. A more fine-tuned assessment can be gleaned by filtering data by education and ethnic background. (Source: 4/6/16, The Washington Post, “Who Gets Divorced in America”)
  • At least 8% of households with minor children are headed by single fathers. (6/2/13 Pew Research Center, The Rise of Single Fathers)
  • As of the 2011 census, 1% of coupled households contained same-sex couples. And of these households, about 19% had children. (US Census Bureau, Same Sex Couple Households, Sept. 2011)

While it’s impossible to detail all the different configurations of American family today, one thing is clear: The Brady Bunch was ahead of its time.


The American Family Today

Who Gets Divorced in America

The Rise of Single Fathers

Shana Burg