November 28, 2020

U.S. Census: New Data Tables “Reveal a Variety of Characteristics About U.S. Families”

From the U.S. Census:

Between 2000 and 2015, the share of married couples where the wife earned at least $30,000 more than the husband increased from 6 to 9 percent, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Married couples where the husband earned at least $30,000 more than the wife decreased from 38 to 35 percent. Conversely, husbands and wives whose earnings were within $4,999 of each other grew slightly from 24 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2015.

“This is a noteworthy development, given a broader context of an enduring gender earnings gap,” said Jamie Lewis, a statistician in the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, referencing page 10 of the 2014 Income and Poverty in the United States report.

The statistics released today come from the Census Bureau’s annual Families and Living Arrangements table package from the 2015 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families and living arrangements for more than 60 years. These data measure income earned in 1999 and 2014, and income is in 2014 dollars. The comparisons provide an overview of all married couples and do not account for employment status.

Today’s table package delves into many other characteristics of households, including similarities and differences between married and unmarried couples. The historical data on America’s families and living arrangements can be found on census.gov.

Other findings:

Children

  • Of the 73.6 million children under 18 in the United States:
    • 69 percent live with two parents (51.0 million).
    • 23 percent live with a mother only (17.0 million).
    • 4 percent live with a father only (2.8 million).
    • 4 percent have no parent present (2.9 million).
  • The share of children living with two parents increased slightly from 68 percent in 2012 to 69 percent in 2015. This pattern holds for single-race white and Hispanic children but not for single-race black and single-race Asian children.

Households

  • The share of households with a single-race white householder decreased from 82 percent in 2003 to 79 percent in 2015. Households with a single-race black householder grew from 12 to 13 percent; those with a single-race Asian householder grew from 4 to 5 percent; and those with a Hispanic householder increased from 10 to 13 percent.
  • Average household size has declined from 3.3 people in 1960 to 2.5 today.

Marriage and family

  • The median age when adults first marry continues to rise. In 2015, it was 29 for men and 27 for women, up from 24 and 21, respectively, in 1947.
  • In 2015, 55 percent of unmarried women 18 or older were never married, up from 47 percent in 1990. During the same period, the share of unmarried women who were widowed decreased from 30 to 20 percent.
  • The share of mother-only family groups maintained by a mother under 20 decreased by half from 2000, dropping from 4 to 2 percent.
  • 24 percent of married family groups with children under 15 have a stay-at-home mother and 1 percent have a stay-at-home father.

Older adults

  • A greater share of families have at least one member 65 or older living at home, increasing from 20 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2015.
  • About 13.3 million older adults live alone, representing 29 percent of adults 65 or older.

Unmarried couples

  • 8.3 million opposite-sex unmarried couples live together.
  • 39 percent of opposite-sex unmarried couples have a child under 18 present.
  • Statistics about same-sex couples are available from the American Community Survey.

Direct to America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2015 Data Tables

Direct to America’s Families and Living Arrangements: Historical Data

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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