Married couples have become a minority in the United States during the past few years, while those married pairs with children comprise just one in five households.
Married couples living together without children accounted for 29.1 percent of U.S. households in 2012, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. That's about the same as in 1970.
But married couples living together with children accounted for just 19.6 percent of households, down significantly from 1970 when the figure was 40.3 percent.
That means married couples living together, with or without children, accounted for 48.7 percent of households. In 1970, the figure was 70.6 percent. It dropped to 60.8 percent in 1980, to 56.1 percent in 1990, and 52.8 percent in 2000. Married couples were a minority in 2010, comprising just 49.7 percent of households.
In 2012, women living without a mate accounted for 15.2 percent of households, while men living without one comprised 12.3 percent. "Other family households" accounted for 17.8 percent, mostly unmarried couples living together, with or without children, and to a lesser extent married couples living apart.
The proportion of single-person households has risen from 16.2 percent in 1970 to 27.5 percent.
"Most of the increase in people living alone comes from men," Bloomberg Businessweek observed.
"In the 1970s, a man on his own was pretty rare, making up only about 5 percent of households. Now such households account for more than 12 percent."
The consistently decreasing percentage of Americans who are married is surely related to the rising percentage of U.S. babies born to unwed mothers. As the Insider Report disclosed last week, 36 percent of the generation of Americans born from 1993 through 2012, who are beginning to turn 21 this year, were born to an unmarried mother.