family & marriage

Facts

The sanctity of marriage is at the center of today's culture war in America. Social conservatives see marriage being attacked by a disintegration of family values and by the advent of gay marriage. Others claim that marriage is making a bit of a comeback and that gay-marriages, rather than harming the santity of marriage, reinforce it.

General

How many Americans are married:

  • 120.2 million Americans are married (2000) (54% of population 15 years +) (Census).

Percent of couples that are unmarried. Unmarried couples that live together (NORC) make up:

  • 1997: 7% of all couples; 4.1% of all families
  • 1990: 5.1% of all couples; 3.1% of all families
  • 1980: 3.1% of all couples; 2% of all families

Same sex couples

Number of unmarried same sex couples living together in the US (Census):

  • 777 thousand (0.7% of all households) - compared to 5.2 million unmarried heterosexual households.

Gender of unmarried couples. Of the 5.5 million unmarried couples that lived together in 2000 (Census)

  • 87.4% were male/female couples;
  • 6.4% were both males;
  • 6.2% were both females.

Number of same-sex couples that have married (in Massachusetts, the only state that currently permits same sex marriage):

  • 8,000 (AP)

Divorces

Adults who have married and divorced (NORC):

  • In 1998: 26% of all adults, 33% of those who have been married;
  • In 1990: 25% of all adults, 31% of those who have been married;
  • In 1980: 18% of all adults, 21% of those who have been married.

Number of men divorced by 40 years old among: (Census)

  • 65-70 year-olds: 23%
  • 60-65 year-olds: 27%
  • 55-60 year-olds: 31%
  • 50-55 year-olds: 31%
  • 45-50 year-olds: 26%

Number of women divorced by 40 years old among: (Census)

  • 65-70 year-olds: 23%
  • 60-65 year-olds: 27%
  • 55-60 year-olds: 33%
  • 50-55 year-olds: 35%
  • 45-50 year-olds: 32%

Kids

Of families with children, those that are headed by married couples (DOS):

  • 1998: 72.7%;
  • 1980: 80.5%.

Children born to unmarried mothers (NORC):

  • 1996: 32.4% of all children;
  • 1990: 28% of all children;
  • 1980: 18.4% of all children.

Children who lived with married parents (NORC):

  • 1998: 64% of all children (12% live with remarried parent)
  • 1990: 74% of all children(18% live with remarried parent)
  • 1980: 74% of all children(13% live with remarried parent)

How are kids doing? One indicator: illicit drug use of 12th graders (ChildStats):

  • 1998: 25.6%
  • 1990: 17.2%
  • 1980: 37.2%

Where the fact are from:

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