Census Bureau says 1 million more children live with unmarried parents than in 2007

Roughly 1 million more children live with unmarried parents in 2023 than 16 years ago, as marriage plays a declining role in American family life, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

The federal agency said an annual survey of family living arrangements found the tally of children under age 18 who lived with cohabiting parents jumped from 2.2 million in 2007 to 3.2 million this year. The bureau has collected statistics on U.S. families for more than 60 years.

In its report, the Census Bureau described the change as a “significant increase” but did not identify any reasons for it.

Overall, 75% of children under 6 and 68% of those between ages 12 and 17 live with two parents this year.

Researchers also estimated that the U.S. has 38.1 million one-person households this year, or 29% of all homes. That’s up from 13% in 1960.

The share of families with children under age 18 in the household declined from 48% in 2003 to 39% this year, the bureau said.

Meanwhile, the share of people 15 and older who had never been married rose from 23% in 1950 to 34% this year.

From 1947 to this year, the mean age at the time of marriage increased from 23.7 years old for men and 20.5 for women to 30.2 and 28.4 years, respectively.

Among young adults aged 18 to 24, 56% still live in their parents’ homes, compared to 16% of those aged 25 to 34.

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