7 Surprising Facts About The New American Family


happy parents and son
New trends in the American family: surprising facts about marriage, divorce and kids today.

6. More Female Breadwinners
Though more men than women work outside the home, and though men still earn more money than women, significant changes have taken place in the workforce. In 2008 women made up 47 percent of the workforce, compared to 35 percent in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. At the same time, the percentage of wives who bring home the big bucks has shifted. Today, women are the primary breadwinners in 22 percent of couples, up from 7 percent in 1970. Not surprisingly, these numbers aren't just good for women—they're also good for marriages. A 2009 report from the Center for American Progress found that in states where more wives had paid jobs, the divorce rate tended to be lower.

7. Lower Overall Divorce Rates
Contrary to what the naysayers and celebrity cheating scandals might have you believe, traditional marriage has not gone the way of the dogs. In fact, divorce rates have been falling since the 1970s, according to New York Times blogger Tara Parker Pope. "Changing patterns of marriage and divorce have improved the odds of staying married," she writes in her new book, For Better: The Science Of A Good Marriage. "Divorce is getting less common and marriage is stronger than ever."

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