October 13, 2003
Married Couples Soon To Be Minority Of All US Households

Married couples are fast headed toward being less than the majority of all households.

The U.S. Census Bureau's newest numbers show that married-couple households -- the dominant cohort since the country's founding -- have slipped from nearly 80% in the 1950s to just 50.7% today. That means that the U.S.'s 86 million single adults could soon define the new majority. Already, unmarrieds make up 42% of the workforce, 40% of home buyers, 35% of voters, and one of the most potent -- if pluralistic -- consumer groups on record.

Only half of the married couple households have kids in them.

Married couples with kids, which made up nearly every residence a century ago, now total just 25% -- with the number projected to drop to 20% by 2010, says the Census Bureau. By then, nearly 30% of homes will be inhabited by someone who lives alone.

Delays till marriage, cohabitation, divorce, and other factors such as death of one spouse are all working to make married couples into a minority.

You can bet money that the unmarrieds are going to push for changes in taxes and benefits that currently give the marrieds all sorts of advantages.

Update: Another report on the same trend:

In 1940, less than 8 percent of Americans lived alone. Today that proportion has more than tripled, reaching nearly 26 percent. Singles number 86 million, according to the Census Bureau, and virtually half of all households are now headed by unmarried adults.

Signs of this demographic revolution, this kingdom of singledom, appear everywhere, including Capitol Hill.

Last month the Census Bureau reported that 132 members of the House of Representatives have districts in which the majority of households are headed by unmarried adults.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 October 13 02:55 PM  Trends Demographic

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