Family and Living Arrangements
FAMILY AND LIVING ARRANGEMENTS
FEWER "TRADITIONAL" FAMILIES
One of the more significant social changes to occur in the last decades of the twentieth century was a shift away from the "traditional" family structure—a married couple with their own child or children living in the home. The U.S. Census Bureau divides households into two major categories: family households (defined as groups of two or more people living together related by birth, marriage, or adoption) and nonfamily households (consisting of a person living alone or an individual living with others to whom he or she is not related). As a percentage of all households, family households declined over the period 1950 to 2000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1950 family households accounted for 89.4% of all households. By 2000 that figure had dropped to 68.1%. The rise in nonfamily households is the result of many factors, some of the most prominent being:
- People are postponing marriage until later in life and are thus living alone or with nonrelatives for a longer period of time.
- A rising divorce rate translates into more people living alone or with nonrelatives.
- A rise in the number of people who cohabit before or instead of marriage results in higher numbers of non-family households.
- The oldest members of our population are living longer and often live in nonfamily households as widows/widowers or in institutional settings.
Although family households were a smaller proportion of all households in 2000 than in 1950, they were still the majority of households. The Census Bureau breaks family households into three categories: (1) married couples with their own children, (2) married couples without children, and (3) other family households. The last category includes single-parent households and households made up of relatives (such as siblings) who live together or grandparents who live with grandchildren without members of the middle generation being present.
Of the three categories, the "other family household" grew the most between 1970 and 2000, growing from 10.6% of all households in 1970 to 16% in 2000. The "traditional" family household experienced the greatest decline during the period. Married couples with their own children made up 40.3% of households in 1970 but only 24.1% in 2000. (See Figure 2.1.)
One- and Two-Parent Families
Among all families with children, two-parent families accounted for 87.2% of families in 1970 and 68.3% in 2002. (See Table 2.1.) Overall, most households with children are still headed by married couples. But the decline in the percentage of children being raised in two-parent households has been the subject of much study and attention.
In 2002 31.7% of families with children were maintained by just one parent, compared to 12.8% in 1970. (See Table 2.1.) In 2002 mothers were single parents 4.5 times as often as fathers. In 1970 that figure was 8.7 times as often; in 1970 there were very few single-father families. During that thirty-two-year period, the number of single-father families increased more than fivefold while single-mother households increased 2.9 times.
The proportion of families headed by a single parent increased from 1980 to 2003 in all racial and ethnic groups. African-American children were the least likely of all racial and ethnic groups to live in two-parent households (36% in 2003). (See Table 2.2.)
The rise in single-parent families is the result of several factors, all pointing to a change in American lifestyles and values. Among these changes are an escalating divorce rate and an increase in the number of children born to unmarried women.
|Family households, 1970 and 2002|
|(Numbers in thousands)|
|All family groups|
|One parent||Two-parent families as percent of total|
|Total with own children under 18||Maintained by|
|*Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.|
|(NA) Data not available.|
|Notes: Data for 2002 use population controls based on Census 2000 and an expanded sample of households designed to improve state estimates of children with health insurance. Family groups with children include all parent-child situations (two-parent and one-parent): those that maintain their own household (family households with own children); those that live in the home of a relative (related subfamilies); and those that live in the home of a nonrelative (unrelated subfamilies). Data based on the Current Population Survey (CPS).|
|source: Adapted from "FM-2. All Parent/Child Situations, by Type, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Householder or Reference Person: 1970 to Present," in Families and Living Arrangements: March 2002," Current Population Survey Reports, U.S. Census Bureau, June 12, 2003, http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/tabFM-2.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
According to the 2002 American Community Survey, in that year the number of divorced individuals reached 22.1 million, more than five times the 4.3 million divorces in 1970. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), every year since 1972 more than one million children have experienced their parents' divorce. The NCHS also reports that the rate of children whose parents divorce has risen. During the 1950s only six out of every thousand children experienced parental divorce during a given year, compared with nineteen per thousand in the 1990s.
The rise in the number of single-parent family households can also be attributed to the dramatic rise in the number of births to unmarried women. In its publication Births: Final Data for 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 34% of births in 2002 were to unmarried women. Nonmarital birth rates differed significantly by race and ethnicity. Unmarried Hispanic women had the highest birthrate in 2002, at 87.9 births per one thousand women of childbearing age. (See Table 2.3.) The birthrate for unmarried African-American women that year was 66.2 births per one thousand women, which had fallen steeply from a birthrate of 90.5 births per one thousand women in 1990. The rate for unmarried, non-Hispanic white women was 27.8 births per one thousand
women. The rate of births to unmarried women was highest among women in their twenties; the birth rate for unmarried women ages twenty to twenty-four years was 70.5 births per one thousand women, and the rate for women ages twentyfive to twenty-nine was 61.5 births per one thousand women. Unmarried teen birth rates had fallen steadily since the 1990s.
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF CHILDREN
Many children who live in single-parent households face significant challenges that can be exacerbated by racial and ethnic inequalities. According to the Census Bureau, in 2002 the poverty rate for African-American households was 24.1% and for Hispanic households 21.8%, but for non-Hispanic white households it was only 8%. Children who lived in minority families with a single parent were likely to have greatly reduced economic, educational, and social opportunities. Single parents were more likely to have a low income and less education and were more likely to be unemployed and to be renting a home or apartment or living in public housing.
Many single-parent families, however, are not single adult families; some single parents maintain a household
|Percentage of children under age 18 by presence of married parents in household, race, and Hispanic origin, selected years, 1980–2003|
|Race, Hispanic origin, and family type||1980||1981||1982||1983||1984||1985||1986||1987||1988||1989||1990||1991||1992||1993||1994||1995||1996||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003|
|— Not available.|
|aExcludes families where parents are not living as a married couple.|
|bBecause of data limitations, includes some families where both parents are present in the household but living as unmarried partners.|
|cBeginning in 2003, the Current Population Survey asked respondents to choose one or more races. All race groups discussed in this table from 2003 onward refer to people who indicated only one racial identity within the racial category presented. The use of the single–race population in this table does not imply that it is the preferred method of presenting or analyzing data.|
|dPersons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.|
|Note: Data for 1999, 2000, and 2001 use Census 2000 population controls. Data for 2000 onward are from the expanded Current Population Survey sample. Family structure refers to the presence of biological, adoptive, and stepparents in the child's household. Thus, a child with a biological mother and stepfather living in the household is said to have two married parents.|
|Two married parents family:|
|In the Current Population Survey, children live in a two-parent family if they are living with a parent who is married with his or her spouse present. This is not an indicator of the biological relationship between the child and the parents. The parent who is identified could be a biological, step, or adoptive parent. If a second parent is present and not married to the first parent, then the child is identified as living with a single parent.|
|Single parent family:|
|A "single" parent is defined as a parent who is not currently living with a spouse. Single parents may be married and not living with their spouse, they may be divorced, widowed, or never married. As with the identification of two parents described above, if a second parent is present and not married to the first, then the child is identified as living with a single parent.|
|source: "Table POP6. Family Structure and Children's Living Arrangements: Percentage of Children under Age 18 by Presence of Married Parents in Household, Race, and Hispanic Origin, Selected Years 1980–2003," America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2004, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2004, http://childstats.gov/ac2004/tables/pop6.asp (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|Two married parentsa||77||76||75||75||75||74||74||73||73||73||73||72||71||71||69||69||68||68||68||68||69||69||69||68|
|Two married parentsa||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||81||80||79||79||79||78||77||77||76||77||77||78||77||77|
|Two married parentsa||42||43||42||41||41||39||41||40||39||38||38||36||36||36||33||33||33||35||36||35||38||38||38||36|
|Two married parentsa||75||70||69||68||70||68||66||66||66||67||67||66||65||65||63||63||62||64||64||63||65||65||65||65|
|Number, birth rate, and percentage of births to unmarried women, by age, race, and Hispanic origin of mother, 2002|
|Measure and age of mother||All races1||Total2||Non-Hispanic||Total2||Non-Hispanic||American Indian2, 3||Asian or Pacific Islander2||Hispanic4|
|— Data not available.|
|1Includes races other than white and black and origin not stated.|
|2Race and Hispanic origin are reported separately on the birth certificate. Race categories are consistent with the 1977 Office of Management and Budget guidelines. Data for persons of Hispanic origin are included in the data for each race group according to the mother's reported race.|
|3Includes births to Aleuts and Eskimos.|
|4Includes all persons of Hispanic origin of any race.|
|5Birth rates computed by relating total births to unmarried mothers, regardless of age of mother, to unmarried women aged 15–44 years.|
|6Birth rates computed by relating births to unmarried mothers aged 40 years and over to unmarried women aged 40–44 years.|
|Notes: For 48 states and the District of Columbia, marital status is reported on the birth certificate; for Michigan and New York, mother's marital status is inferred. Rates cannot be computed for unmarried non–Hispanic black women or for American Indian women because the necessary populations are not available.|
|source: Joyce A. Martin, Brady E. Hamilton, Paul D. Sutton, Stephanie J. Venture, Fay Menacher, and Martha L. Munson, "Table 17. Number, Birth Rate, and Percent of Births to Unmarried Women by Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin of Mother: United States, 2002," in "Births: Final Data for 2002," National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 52, no. 10, National Center for Health Statistics, 2002, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr52/nvsr52_10.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|Under 15 years||7,093||3,683||1,446||3,174||3,119||129||107||2,266|
|40 years and over||17,474||11,783||7,321||4,760||4,613||298||633||4,493|
|Rate per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group|
|Percent of births to unmarried women|
|Under 15 years||97.0||94.8||96.9||99.6||99.6||97.0||97.3||93.6|
|40 years and over||17.3||14.5||11.2||39.6||39.6||40.7||8.9||28.8|
with an unmarried partner. In 1990 the Census Bureau sought to reflect changing lifestyles in America by asking for the first time whether unmarried couples maintained households together. Although in 2000 a slight majority of U.S. households (52%) were headed by married couples, a significant number of unmarried couples also maintained households together. According to the 2000 Census, 5.5 million unmarried couples cohabited in the United States. Most of these couples were opposite-sex couples, but one in nine of them were same-sex couples.
A significant portion of all coupled households in 2000 contained children under the age of eighteen. Nearly half (45.6%) of all married-couple households had children living within them, and almost as many opposite-sex partnered households, 43.1%, contained children. Same-sex partnered households also often contained children; nearly a quarter (22.3%) of households headed by male partners had children living in them, and a third (34.3%) of households headed by female partners had children living with them.
This Census data shows that many children are living in nontraditional family situations; in 2002 more than two million children lived in unmarried-couple households. This number represented a significant increase over previous
decades. According to the 1960 Census, only 197,000 children under the age of fifteen lived in opposite-sex, unmarried partner households; by 2002 this number had reached 1,654,000—more than eight times as many.
Figure 2.2 shows the dramatic differences in the proportion of children living with single parents and cohabiting single parents by race and ethnic group. Children from all backgrounds were much more likely to be living with a single mother (23%) than a single father (5%). But 33% of children living with single fathers also lived with cohabiting partners, compared to only 11% of children living with single mothers.
Grandparents sometimes provide housing for, and sometimes reside in, the homes of their children and grandchildren. According to the U.S. Census Bureau ("Grandchildren Living in the Home of their Grandparents: 1970 to Present," June 12, 2003), in 2002 3,681,000 grandchildren under the age of eighteen lived with grandparents. Of these, 1,658,000 lived with their mothers and grandparents; 275,000 lived with their fathers and grandparents; and nearly 1.3 million, or 1.8% of all children, lived with grandparents only with no parents present. This percentage remained fairly steady from 1970 to 2002, varying from a low of 1.3% in 1992 to a high of 2.1% in 1995. These caretaking grandparents were responsible for most of the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren living with them.
Living and caretaking arrangements of grandparents and grandchildren varied by race and ethnicity in 2002. African-American, Native American, and Hispanic grandparents were four times more likely to live with their grandchildren than white grandparents. However, Hispanic grandparents (34.7%) were less likely than African-American (51.7%) or Native American (56.1%) grandparents to be the primary caregivers for those grandchildren. Asian grandparents (20%) were least likely of all groups to be the primary caretakers for the grandchildren with whom they resided. (See Table 2.4.)
Grandparents also play a significant role in the lives of children living with a single parent. One out of ten children who lived with single mothers in 2002 were the grandchildren of the householder; 8% of children who lived with single fathers were living in a grandparent's household. When neither parent was present, 44% of the time children lived with and were cared for by their grandparents.
|Grandparents living with grandchildren, responsible for coresident grandchildren, and duration of responsibility, by race and Hispanic origin, 2000|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone||Not Hispanic or Latino|
|Characteristic||Total||White alone||Black or African American alone||American Indian and Alaska Native alone||Asian alone||Some other race alone||Two or races||Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||Total||White alone, not Hispanic or Latino|
|*Percent duration based on grandparents responsible for grandchildren. Percent distribution may not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.|
|source: Tavia Simmons and Jane Lawler Dye, "Table 1. Grandparents Living with Grandchildren, Responsible for Coresident Grandchildren, and Duration of Responsibility by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2000," in Grandparents Living with Grandchildren: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-31.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|Population 30 years old and over||158,881,037||126,715,472||16,484,644||1,127,455||5,631,301||169,331||5,890,748||2,862,086||14,618,891||144,262,146||119,063,492|
|Grandparents living with grandchildren||5,771,671||3,219,409||1,358,699||90,524||359,709||17,014||567,486||158,830||1,221,661||4,550,010||2,654,788|
|Percent of population 30 and over||3.6||2.5||8.2||8.0||6.4||10.0||9.6||5.5||8.4||3.2||2.2|
|Responsible for grandchildren||2,426,730||1,340,809||702,595||50,765||71,791||6,587||191,107||63,076||424,304||2,002,426||1,142,006|
|Percent of coresident grandparents||42.0||41.6||51.7||56.1||20.0||38.7||33.7||39.7||34.7||44.0||43.0|
|By duration of care (percent)*|
|Less than 6 months||12.1||12.6||9.8||13.0||13.6||12.7||15.6||13.5||14.6||11.5||12.4|
|6 to 11 months||10.8||11.6||9.3||10.5||11.0||8.4||11.4||11.2||11.2||10.7||11.6|
|1 to 2 years||23.2||23.8||21.2||22.5||25.2||23.8||26.1||23.4||25.1||22.8||23.6|
|3 to 4 years||15.4||15.8||14.6||13.9||17.6||11.7||15.7||16.0||15.8||15.3||15.7|
|5 years to more||38.5||36.3||45.2||40.0||32.7||43.3||31.1||35.9||33.3||39.6||36.6|
The homes maintained by grandparents without parents present were more likely to experience economic hardship than families with a parent present. According to the U.S. Census (Children's Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002), of all grandchildren, 18% lived below the poverty line in 2002), 23% were not covered by health insurance, and 9% received public assistance. Among children who lived with their grandparents with their parents absent, the numbers were much higher: 30% were below the poverty line, 36% were not covered by health insurance, and 17% received public assistance. These numbers suggest that children who live with their grandparents without a parent present are at an economic disadvantage; grandchildren's presence in their grandparents' homes without an economic contribution from the middle generation appears to severely tax the economic resources of grandparents.
Foster Care and Adoption
There is currently no comprehensive federal registry system for adoptions, which can be arranged by government agencies, private agencies, and through private arrangements between birth mothers and adoptive parents with the assistance of lawyers. The federally funded National Center for Social Statistics collected information on all finalized adoptions from 1957 to 1975, but with the dissolution of the Center, very limited statistical information is now available. With the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, there was a renewed effort to improve the data available about adoption. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), now tracks adoptions arranged through the foster care system.
AFCARS reported that on September 30, 2001, 542,000 children were living in foster homes with foster parents. Foster parents are trained people supervised by local social service agencies who provide space in their homes and care for children who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned, or whose parents are unable to care for them. According to the American Public Welfare Association, foster care is the most common type of substitute care, but children needing substitute care might also live in group homes, emergency shelters, child-care facilities, hospitals, correctional institutions, or on their own. It is becoming more difficult to place children in foster care. The number of potential foster care families is down, due in part to the fact that women, the primary givers of foster care, are entering the paid labor force in greater numbers.
AFCARS estimated that in fiscal year 2001, 290,000 children eighteen years old and younger entered foster care, with an average age of 8.6 years. A disproportionate share of children entering foster care were African-American—28% of children entering foster care were African-American, but only 17% of all Americans under age eighteen were African-American. White children were underrepresented among those entering foster care—46% were white, compared to the 64% of all children under the age of eighteen who were white. Hispanic and Native American/Alaska Native children were proportionally represented—16% entering foster care were Hispanic, and 3% were Native American/Alaska Native.
A child's stay in foster care can vary from just a few days to many years. Almost one in five of the children who left foster care in fiscal year 2001 had been in care less than a month (19%). Almost a third had been in care from one to eleven months (31%), another one-fifth in care from one to two years (19%), and almost a third had lived in foster care for more than two years (31%). (See Table 2.5.)
According to the AFCARS report, more than half of the children who left foster care in fiscal year 2001 were reunited with their parents (57%). (See Table 2.5.) Some of these children moved to a relative's or guardian's home (13%). Seven percent "aged out" of the system when they turned eighteen years old. Almost one out of five of the children who left foster care were adopted (18%). (See Table 2.6.) Of those adopted children, 25,117 were male and 24,883 were female. Foster parents adopted 59% of these children, relatives other than parents adopted 23%, and nonrelatives adopted 17%. While "traditional families"—married couples—made up two-thirds of those who adopted children from foster care (67%), a significant share were nontraditional families—30% of adopters were single women, 2% were single men, and 1% were unmarried couples.
In 1996 the federal government began to provide incentives to both potential adoptive parents and to states to move children into adoptive homes more quickly by instituting a $5,000 tax credit for adoptive parents to cover adoption expenses; the credit was $6,000 if the adopted child had special needs. Children with special needs were defined as those with physical, mental, or emotional problems; children needing to be adopted with siblings; or children who were difficult to place because of age, race, or ethnicity. In 2002 the tax credit was increased to $10,000 to cover adoption expenses for children without special needs; adoptive parents of special-needs children, including many children from foster care, received the full amount of the tax credit regardless of incurred expenses.
In addition, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act (PL 105–200) in 1997, providing fiscal incentives to states to move children from foster care into adoptive families more quickly. States that increase the number of adoptions of foster children (in a given year over a base year) receive a standard payment of $4,000 per adopted child and $6,000 for the adoption of a special needs child.
|Children who exited foster care, 2001|
|Notes: Deaths are attributable to a variety of causes including medical conditions, accidents and homicide. Using U.S. Bureau of the Census standards, children of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Beginning in fiscal year 2000, children could be identified with more than one race designation.|
|source: Adapted from "How Many Children Exited Foster Care during FY 2001?" in Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), no. 8, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, March 2003, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/afcars/report8.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|WHAT WERE THE AGES OF THE CHILDREN WHO EXITED CARE DURING FISCAL YEAR 2001?|
|Less than 1 year||4%||10,923|
|19 or more years||2%||5,005|
|WHAT WERE THE LENGTHS OF STAY OF THE CHILDREN WHO EXITED FOSTER CARE DURING FISCAL YEAR 2001?|
|Less than 1 month||19%||50,300|
|5 or more years||9%||23,936|
|WHAT WAS THE RACE/ETHNICITY OF THE CHILDREN WHO EXITED CARE DURING FISCAL YEAR 2001?|
|American Native non-Hispanic||2%||6,544|
|Hawaiian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic||0%||1,046|
|Unknown/unable to determine||4%||9,602|
|Two or more races||2%||6,087|
|WHAT WERE THE OUTCOMES FOR THE CHILDREN EXITING FOSTER CARE DURING FISCAL YEAR 2001?|
|Reunification with parent(s) or primary caretaker(s)||57%||148,606|
|Living with other relative(s)||10%||26,084|
|Transfer to another agency||3%||7,918|
|Death of child||0%||528|
Despite these incentives, many children who enter foster care will never have a permanent family, but instead will age out of the system. On September 30, 2001, there were 126,000 children living in foster homes whose parents' rights had been terminated. These "waiting children" were disproportionately African-American. While 17% of all children under eighteen were African-American and 28% of children entering foster care were African-American, almost half (45%) of waiting children were African-American. The majority of these children lived in foster
|Children adopted from the public foster care system, 2001|
|HOW MANY CHILDREN WERE ADOPTED FROM THE PUBLIC FOSTER CARE SYSTEM IN FY 2001?|
|WHAT IS THE GENDER DISTRIBUTION OF THE CHILDREN ADOPTED FROM THE PUBLIC FOSTER CARE SYSTEM?|
|HOW OLD WERE THE CHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE ADOPTED FROM THE PUBLIC FOSTER CARE SYSTEM?|
|Less than 1 year||2%||993|
|19 or more years||0%||51|
|WHAT PROPORTION OF THE CHILDREN ADOPTED ARE RECEIVING AN ADOPTION SUBSIDY?|
|WHAT IS THE FAMILY STRUCTURE OF THE CHILD'S ADOPTIVE FAMILY?|
|WHAT IS THE RACIAL/ETHNIC* DISTRIBUTION OF THE CHILDREN ADOPTED FROM THE PUBLIC FOSTER CARE SYSTEM?|
|American Indian/Alaska Native non-Hispanic||1%||715|
|Hawaiian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic||0%||164|
|Unknown/unable to determine||5%||2,583|
|Two or more races non-Hispanic||3%||1,502|
homes with nonrelatives while waiting to be adopted (59%). (See Table 2.7.)
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF YOUNG ADULTS
A young person's transition into adult independence does not necessarily occur at age eighteen. The marriage age has risen since the 1950s, and, as obtaining a college education has become the norm, young people have delayed finding employment that allows them to support themselves independently of their parents. A growing portion of young adults older than eighteen continue to live in, or return to, their parents' homes. Some young people live with their parents until their mid-twenties, and others are likely to return home after moving out, especially after college or service in the military. Many young adults also share households with others.
Socioeconomic experts attribute this phenomenon to the rising cost of living in the United States. Wages have not increased at the same rate as the cost of living; therefore, the same amount of money buys less than in previous years. Real estate prices, particularly in the most populous states (New York, California, Florida, and
|*Using U.S. Bureau of the Census standards, children of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Beginning in FY 2000, children could be identified with more than one race designation.|
|Notes: The number of adoptions reported here do not equal the number of adoption discharges reported under foster care exits because the adoptions reported here include adoptions of some children who were not in foster care but received other support from the public agency. In addition, states have historically underreported adoption discharges. In contrast, states tend to more accurately report the adoptions to the AFCARS adoption database because those are the adoptions used to calculate adoption incentive awards. Some percentages do not total 100% and/or the estimated numbers do not add up to the total number in the category due to rounding.|
|source: Adapted from Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), Report Number 8, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, March 2003, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/afcars/report8.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|HOW MANY MONTHS DID IT TAKE AFTER TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS FOR THE CHILDREN TO BE ADOPTED?|
|Less than 1 month||3%||1,749|
|5 or more yrs||2%||945|
|WHAT WAS THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS TO THE CHILD PRIOR TO THE ADOPTION?|
Texas), have skyrocketed. This is good news for homeowners but bad news for renters and first-time homebuyers, a large percentage of whom are young adults.
Living with Parents
In 2002 13.7 million young adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four lived in their parents' homes. (See Table 2.8. This figure includes those who were living in college dormitories who were still counted as residing at their parental residences.) Males in the age group were more likely (55.3%) than females (46%) to live with their parents. This was primarily because men tend to marry at a later age than women do. Almost all men and women in this age group who lived with their parents had never been married. Table 2.9 shows that the percentage of both men and women ages fifteen to twenty-four and twenty-five to thirty-four that had never married rose steadily from 1950 to 2000, but the percentage of men who had never married was consistently higher.
Young adults who live by themselves for any length of time are unlikely to return home after experiencing independence. Those who move in with roommates, on the other hand, or who cohabit without marrying, are more likely to return to the parental home if the relationship
|Children waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2001|
|Notes: Waiting children are identified as children who have a goal of adoption and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. Children 16 years old and older whose parental rights have been terminated and who have a goal of emancipation have been excluded from the estimate. Using U.S. Bureau of the Census standards, children of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Beginning in fiscal year 2000, children could be identified with more than one race designation.|
|source: Adapted from "How Many Children Were Waiting to Be Adopted on September 30, 2001?" in Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), no. 8, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, March 2003, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/afcars/report8.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|WHAT IS THE GENDER DISTRIBUTION OF THE WAITING CHILDREN?|
|HOW OLD WERE THE WAITING CHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE REMOVED FROM THEIR PARENTS OR CARETAKERS?|
|Less than 1 year||26%||33,052|
|HOW MANY MONTHS HAVE THE WAITING CHILDREN BEEN IN CONTINUOUS FOSTER CARE?|
|Less than 1 month||1%||725|
|60 or more months||24%||30,064|
|WHAT IS THE RACIAL/ETHNIC DISTRIBUTION OF THE WAITING CHILDREN?|
|American Native non-Hispanic||2%||2,146|
|Hawaiian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic||0%||400|
|Unknown/unable to determine||4%||5,602|
|Two or more races non-hispanic||2%||2,895|
|HOW OLD WERE THE CHILDREN ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2001?|
|Less than 1 year||3%||4,206|
|WHERE WERE THE WAITING CHILDREN LIVING ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2001?|
|Foster family home (relative)||19%||24,247|
|Foster family home (non-relative)||59%||73,992|
|Supervised independent living||0%||94|
|Trial home visit||0%||364|
fails. Some young people struggle on their own only to return home for respite from financial pressures, loneliness, or because they need emotional support or security.
|Young adults living at home, 1960–2002|
|(Numbers in thousands.)|
|Age||Total||Child of householder||Percent||Total||child of householder||Percent|
|*Data for March 2001 and later use population controls based on Census 2000 and an expanded sample of households designed to improve state estimates of children with health insurance.|
|Notes: Unmarried college students living in dormitories are counted as living in their parent(s) home. NA Not available.|
|source: Adapted from "Table AD-1. Young Adults Living at Home: 1960 to Present," U.S. Census Bureau, June 12, 2003, http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/tabAD-1.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|18 to 24 years|
|25 to 34 years|
Even if they do not settle into careers immediately, most young adults living at home work for wages. Those young people who lived away from home and then moved back were more likely to pay rent or make some financial contribution to the household
|Percentage of the population aged 15 and over, by sex, age, and marital status, 1950–2000|
|(Data based on sample)|
|source: Rose M. Kreider and Tavia Simmons, "Table 4. Percent of the Population Aged 15 and Over by Sex and Age in Specified Marital Status: 1950 to 2000," in Marital Status: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, October 2003, http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-30.pdf (accessed August 24, 2004)|
|15 to 24 years, never married||25 to 34 years||35 to 59 years||60 years and over|
|Sex and year||Never married||Divorced||Separated||Divorced||Separated||Married||Divorced or separated||Widowed|
than those who never lived on their own, even if they were employed.
how long do they stay? Young men are more likely than young women to stay with their parents indefinitely. This may be because young men typically lose less of their autonomy when they return home than young women do. Young women report that they have more responsibility to help around the house and more rules to obey than do their young male counterparts.
HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Families with Children
Homelessness is on the rise in the United States. In 2002 the U.S. Conference of Mayors surveyed twenty-five cities and reported that requests for emergency shelter by homeless people had increased 19% over the previous year (A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities 2002: A 25-City Survey, Washington, DC, December 2002). The most frequent reasons given by participating cities for homelessness were a lack of affordable housing; mental illness and substance abuse (and the lack of available services for both); low-paying jobs or unemployment; domestic violence; and cuts in public assistance programs.
The survey concluded that families with children accounted for 41% of the homeless population, 9% higher than a decade earlier, when families with children accounted for 32% of the homeless population. Three-quarters (73%) of these homeless families were headed by single parents.
The 2002 Conference of Mayors survey found that emergency shelters in 60% of cities surveyed had to turn away homeless families due to a lack of resources. Nearly a third (30%) of shelter requests by homeless people could not be met, and an even higher percentage of shelter requests by families were not met (38%). In 40% of the surveyed cities, some homeless families had to break up in order to be accommodated in emergency shelters, because some shelters for women and children will not allow men (including husbands of women residents) to stay with their families.
In 2002 the U.S. Conference of Mayors reported that 5% of the homeless in the surveyed cities were unaccompanied youths. Burlington, Vermont, reported the highest rate of homeless unaccompanied youth (9%), followed by Chicago, Illinois; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Phoenix, Arizona; and San Antonio, Texas, at 5% each. Young people are among the least studied of the homeless population. Comparing studies is difficult because inconsistent terms are used to define homeless youth, including runaways, pushouts, throwaways, and unaccompanied youth. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notes that much more research is needed to get a complete picture of homeless youth, evaluate programs designed for them, and design interventions to prevent homelessness among at-risk youth.