FAMILY & The Nuclear Family Is Still The Majority Of U.S. Households—Just Barely

by Charlie Sorrel, Fast Company Magazine, 7/26/16.

…FlowingData’s Nathan Yau scraped the numbers from 2010-2014 American Community Survey and found that the nuclear family is still dominant—but only just.

Yau put together this in-depth chart, showing the top 50 kinds of families in the U.S. today…


To categorize the families further, Yau classified them into groups, using United Nations definitions: one-person, nuclear, extended, and composite. When clumped together like this, the family types are easier to understand. Here’s the key to reading Yau’s chart:

Relationships are relative to the surveyed head of household. Larger circles are (mostly) adults, and smaller circles are children or grandchildren. Circles are colored dark green to show the householder’s family nucleus, light green for family members outside the nucleus, and gray for non-relatives, which includes friends and partners. Connecting lines represent marriage and children, or the householder’s family nucleus.

The chart only covers the top 50 kinds of family, although Yau says that this covers around 94% of all household types in the U.S. And the nuclear family wins, barely, accounting for 54% of households. The chart is a little misleading, because if you count up the number of nuclear family squares, you only get 13 out of 50.

But the most interesting part might be that other 46%, the non-nuclear families. Nuclear is defined by the UN as any of the following: “a married-couple family, with or without child(ren), or a father (or mother) with child(ren).” That is, pretty much anyone living with their kids. Other kinds of household include siblings living together, extended families of three generations living together, or people living with friends and/or relatives. One thing missing from the UN’s guidance on family types is same-sex marriages. Then again, “a married couple with children,” also means a married same-sex couple with children, so perhaps there’s no need for clarification.

The nuclear family, then, remains dominant, but not really in the sense we understand it. We might commonly think of a nuclear family as two parents, plus one or more kids, but the definition is a lot broader than that, encompassing anything from a married couple, to a lone parent and child. Considered like this, perhaps the very definition of nuclear family has become useless because it doesn’t really mean much any more…

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FAMILY & Privilege, Power, and the Mission of God (Genesis 21)

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Brian Russell is a colleague who teaches Old Testament at Asbury Seminary in Florida. In this article he draws important lessons about family calamities and the ability of God to turn them around. Below is his summary (read the entire article at the accompanying link):

Privilege, Power, and the Mission of God (Genesis 21)

by Brian Russell, 1/11/15.

God’s mission moves forward by his grace. God makes and keeps promises. God overcomes broken family relationships, ill intentions, and even human infertility to advance the family through whom the nations will be blessed (Gen. 12:3b). God’s people grow from a childless couple to a substantial presence in Egypt. God reverses cultural bias toward the firstborn to advance his kingdom. Genesis 3–11 demonstrates humanity’s inability to find its own way and its penchant for spectacular failure. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob point to a new hope. This hope finds its roots in God’s faithfulness and commitment to his people. The themes of childlessness and the flipping of the privileged role of firstborn serve to proclaim this.

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FATHERHOOD & Black Dads Spend More Time w/ Their Children Than Latino or White Dads #CDC

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Much has been made of recent research that found 72% of African-American children are born to unwed parents ( But, research also shows (below) that Black fathers spend more time w/ their children (e.g. with homework, feeding and bathing) than white or Latino fathers. And this is true even when comparing non-coresidential fathers.”

Fathers’ Involvement With Their Children: United States, 2006–2010

by Jo Jones, Ph.D., and William D. Mosher, Ph.D., US Division of Vital Statistics


Objective—This report measures fathers’ involvement with their children. Father involvement is measured by how often a man participated in a set of activities in the last 4 weeks with children who were living with him and with fathers in their children’s lives has been associated with a range of positive outcomes for the children.

Methods—The analyses presented in this report are based on a nationally representative sample of 10,403 men aged 15–44 years in the household population of the United States. The father-involvement measures are based on 2,200 fathers of children under age 5—1,790 who live with their children and 410 who live apart from their children, and on 3,166 fathers of children aged 5–18—2,091 who live with their children and 1,075 who live apart from their children.

Results—Statistics are presented on the frequency with which fathers took part in a set of age-specific activities in their children’s lives. Differences in percent distributions are found by whether the father lives with or apart from his children, and by his demographic characteristics. In general, fathers living with their children participated in their children’s lives to a greater degree than fathers who live apart from their children. Differences in fathers’ involvement with their children were also found by the father’s age, marital or cohabiting status, education, and Hispanic origin and race.

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LATINO/A & The traditional, married, 2-parent US family that eats home-cooked meals together may be Latino #NPR #PewResearch

by Gene Demby, NPR, 9/28/14

The biggest takeaways from a new study on marriage by the Pew Research Center are these: Fewer Americans who are older than 25 are married than ever before, and by the time they’re middle-aged, a record 25 percent will have never tied the knot.

That might not be too much of a surprise, since marriage rates have been sliding for decades.

But what’s just as interesting is how those numbers break down. … (It’s important to note that 1960 was the highwater mark for American marriages.)

… while the Pew data shows that the rate of non-married Latinos has doubled over the last 50 years and the rate of unmarried, cohabitating parents has climbed, another new study from Child Trends found that nearly 60 percent of Latino children were being raised by two married parents. Latino kids were also more likely than blacks or whites to eat a meal with their families six or seven days a week, and those meals were likely to be cooked at home.

Put another way: when we reference the traditional, married, two-parent American family that eats home-cooked meals together in our popular culture, maybe we should start showing them as Latinos.

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