May 27, 2020

As Millennials Near 40, They’re Approaching Family Life Differently Than Previous Generations

Methodology

The analysis of living arrangements, marriages and fatherhood is based on the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of approximately 60,000 households and is the source of the nation’s official statistics on unemployment. The Bureau conducts the ASEC each March. This supplement is perhaps best known as the basis for the Census Bureau’s annual income and poverty reports and is the official source of the national poverty estimate. The supplement uses an enlarged sample of households. The ASEC microdata files used are the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS-CPS) provided by the University of Minnesota. Files are available back to 1962.

Information on childlessness and the number of live births among women is based on the Census Bureau’s fertility supplement to the CPS, conducted in June of every other year. The supplement surveys women of childbearing age and is a primary source for periodic fertility reports published by the Census Bureau. The fertility supplement microdata files are also available at the IPUMS-CPS website.

The analysis of whether a young adult lives in a “family of their own” is based on their assignment to one of seven mutually exclusive categories. The assignments are prioritized, meaning once one meets the condition then other details of the members of their household are irrelevant. Young adults living in group quarters are the first to be defined. Then, young adults who are married or have a child of their own residing in the household are in a family of their own. Next, those living alone are assigned to the living alone category. A young adult who reports that he or she is the child of the head of the household and has not been assigned to a previous category is “living with parents.” If the young adult is living with other family members (e.g. a sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent) or an unmarried partner and has not been assigned to a previous category then the young adult is living with “other family.” If the young adult resides with other non-relatives such as a roommate or boarder/lodger and has not been assigned to a previous category, then he or she is assigned to living with “non-family.”

The analysis of multiracial or multiethnic marriage assigned each spouse to one of five mutually exclusive major racial or ethnic groups: non-Hispanic white alone, non-Hispanic black alone, Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander alone, and non-Hispanic other (including American Indian and Alaskan Native alone and those reporting more than one racial category). A spouse is in a multiracial or multiethnic marriage if the spouse is married to a person in a different major racial or ethnic group. For example, a multiracial spouse who is married to a non-Hispanic white spouse is in a multiracial or multiethnic marriage. If this same spouse is married to a non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan Native then they are not in a multiracial or multiethnic marriage.