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.