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With declining fertility rates and the aging of baby boomers, the percentage of families with their own child living at home decreased to 46 percent in 2008, from 52 percent in 1950, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The findings come from America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2008, a collection of 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS) statistics on family and nonfamily households, characteristics of single-parent families, living arrangements of children and data on married and unmarried couples. The CPS has been conducted annually since 1940.
"Decreases in the percentage of families with their own child under 18 at home reflect the aging of the population and changing fertility patterns," said Rose Kreider, family demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. "In 2008, not only were baby boomers old enough that most of their children were 18 and over, but they were having fewer kids than their parents, as well."
In 1950, 52 percent of family households had their own child under 18. During the years when the baby boomers were young, this percentage increased, reaching 57 percent in the early 1960s. In 2008, however, when the baby boomers were about ages 44 to 62, and likely to be householders themselves, the percentage of families with a child had declined to 46 percent.
Among the factors that contributed to the decrease in the percentage of family households with children under 18:
Other highlights from America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2008 include: