Excellent article from the Hartbeat Newsletter on the rapidly changing American family. According to the article, the quick summary is:
the iconic nuclear family of the 1950s is kaput.
They go to say there "really is no more a generalizable American family" and American families are effectively as diverse as America is.
The shifting American family is comprised of a series of inter-related trends that are powerful in their own right. These include:
- Growing number of singles and households with one resident
- Growing number of single-parent families
- Growing number of multi-generational households
- Growing number of unmarried adults
- Growing number of children born out of wedlock to women over 20
- Shrinking number of families and household with married parents and kids
It's hard to overstate how powerful these trends are. We also have a limited understanding of the short and long term impacts of these changes.
In many ways America is conducting a giant experiment around family and social structures. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.
The Heartbeat article has more details and data on American families.
We track these social trends on a regular basis. See the following Small Business Labs posts for more details by topic: