June 23, 2011

Census 2010 News Stories: The Changing Family

The Census Bureau has begun rolling out Summary File 1 data that include detailed local-level numbers about people’s living arrangements, and much of the news coverage today focused on that topic. A sampling of the coverage: Nearly a quarter of California’s same-sex couples are raising children, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The share of “nuclear families” — that is, a married man and woman raising their children — has declined to 23.4% of California households, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Growth in households with same-sex couples is outpacing growth in households with married couples in California, according to Bloomberg. The growth in same-sex couples in Delaware was the focus of a story on delawareonline.com. The number of unmarried couples in the Sacramento area, both same-sex and opposite-sex, is growing rapidly, according to the Sacramento Bee.

About five million households in Pennsylvania had three or more generations living under the same roof in 2010, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Philadelphia Inquirer used the new data to focus on center-city neighborhoods that attract young people.

Data came out today for California, Delaware, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. Next Thursday, the Census Bureau promises fresh data for Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Nebraska and North Carolina. SF1, which is being released state-by-state through August, also includes extensive tabulations about age, household type and relationships, and whether a home is rented or owned, as well as details about group quarters such as military barracks, college dormitories and prisons. Here is a link to the Census Bureau’s SF1 page, which includes details about the data release.

Last fall, the Pew Research Center released an extensive report that includes survey data on what Americans think about changes in family life. Another Pew Research Center report last year documented the comeback of the multi-generational household (the report’s definition of multi-generational households was wider than the Census Bureau, and also included some two-generation households such as grown children living with their parents as well as grandparents caring for grandchildren).