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Family Composition Changing, Census Report Shows

Significant changes in America's household and family composition have
occurred in the past 25 years with a smaller than ever proportion of
traditional two-parent families with children,  according to a new report,


Household and Family Characteristics:  March 1995," P20-488, issued today
by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.  Also, childless couples,
single-parent families, and people living alone have become increasingly
common, the report said.

"The increasing diversity of household types continues to challenge our
efforts to measure and describe American society," says Ken Bryson, author of
the report.  "The 'typical' household is an illusion," he added.

Following are other changes from 1970 to 1995, for America's households
and families:

        1970                                     1995

Married couples with children         Married couples with children
made up 40 percent of                   make up 25 percent of
households.                                  households.

There were 3.14 people per            There are 2.65 people per
household.                                    household.

One out of every five                      Only one out of every 10
households had five or more           households has five or more
people.                                         people.

People living alone made up           People living alone make up
one-sixth of households.                one-fourth of the households.

5.6 million families were                12.2 million families are
maintained by women with no        maintained by women with no
husband present.                          husband present.

1.2 million families were                 3.2 million families are
maintained by men with no             maintained by men with no wife
wife present.                                  present.

Two out of three households            Four out of five households
were in metropolitan areas.             are in metropolitan areas.

44 percent of families had no           51 percent of the families
own children under 18 at home.       have no own children under 18
                                                     at home.


     A "household" is an individual or a group of people who occupy a housing
unit, whereas a "family" is a group of two or more people, one of whom is the
householder, living together, who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.

     Information in this is report is based on March Current Population Survey
results for 1970, 1980, 1990, and 1995.  The Current Population Survey is a
monthly household survey used primarily to collect information on the nation's
work force, and is subject to sampling error. 

The Census Bureau--preeminent collector and provider of timely, relevant, and
quality data about the people and economy of the United States.  In over 100
surveys annually and 20 censuses a decade, evolving from the first census in
1790, the Census Bureau provides official information about America's people,
businesses, industries, and institutions.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Public Information Office                                         CB96-195
301-457-3030/301-457-3670 (fax)
301-457-4067 (TDD)
e-mail:  pio@census.gov

Ken Bryson
301-457-2465

Submitted by: Ken Bryson *

25-Feb-2003 Hits: 639 Rating: 0 Votes: 0 Rate It


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