By Will Hall, Message Executive Editor
SUITLAND, Md. (LBM)—The U.S. Census Bureau has released data showing that the number of married couples with children under the age of 18 hit a 56-year low of 23,651,000 in 2017, indicating a decline in the traditional family.
The drop is even more serious when viewed in terms of population totals then and now.
In 1961, there were 23,514,000 married couple families with children under age 18, among a total population of 183,691,481 – a ratio of one married couple with kids for every 8 people in the country.
Now the ratio is one married couple with children under 18 for every 14 people, based on 23,651,000 married couples and a total U.S. population of 325,719,178 people.
The decline in married couples with children coincides with a rise in single parent families, with that number climbing from 2,375 million in 1961 to 10,641,000 in 2017, the latest data that has been released.
Meanwhile, the number of children under age 18 as a percentage of the U.S. population has continued to decline from a high of 36 percent in 1960 to an estimated 22.2 percent for 2020.
The implications for U.S. social institutions appear dire with fewer people as a percentage of the population available to serve in the labor force, a lower percentage of the population to draw from for schools, and a smaller percentage of the population to reach with youth church programs.