Unmarried Households Increase Eightfold

The Census Bureau reported that unmarried male and female pairs make up 4 million American households, an 800% increase since 1970. “We’ve had a huge change in how people think about marriage,” said sociologist Reynolds Farley. A practice that was once considered immoral is now commonplace. Partly, this is due to an economic structure wherein young people cannot support themselves without a college education and have thus delayed marriage, according to researchers.

The report also stated that 36% of unmarried couples have children fifteen-years-old or younger living with them. Twenty-eight percent of children are living with a single parent, most often their mothers. Of those children, 40% had mothers who were never married. According to statistician Terry A. Lugaila, author of the report, “That’s something of a concern because never-married mothers may have no support,” while divorced parents are more likely to receive child support.

The study, “Marital Status and Living Arrangements” did not include gay or lesbian families.


The Washington Post - July 27, 1998

Support eh ERA banner