Kids less likely to live in traditional families

Families less traditional today than they were in 1960. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Fewer than half of children under 18 live in a home with two married, heterosexual parents who in their first marriage, a new analysis by the Pew Research Center finds.

The analysis of census data finds that 46 percent live in what was long considered the traditional family.

In 1960,  73 percent of kids lived in the traditional family. And, in 1980, 61 percent did.

According to the analysis, 15 percent of children live with two parents who are in a remarriage.

It’s hard in the census data to identify step-children, so it’s not known if the 15 percent were born after couples remarried or if they are from another marriage.

Forty one percent of children today are born outside of marriage, up 5 percent from 1960.

One major shift in the family structure deals with children who live with an unmarried parent.

Today it is 34 percent. In 1980, it was 19 percent and in 1960, 9 percent. In most cases, these unmarried parents are single.



Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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