In an expanded look at the structure of the American family, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2007, 50 million children in the United States lived with married parents and 2.2 million children lived with two unmarried parents.
According to Families and Living Arrangements: 2007 [PDF], some 73.7 million children younger than 18 lived in the United States. Of these, 67.8 percent lived with married parents, 2.9 percent lived with two unmarried parents, 25.8 percent lived with one parent and 3.5 percent lived with no parent present.
These data come from the 2007 Current Population Survey. This survey, which has been continuously conducted since 1940, has been expanded to include two new questions that allow tabulation about unmarried partner couples and their children.
One question identifies unmarried partners living together in the same household. The other question directly addresses the situation of children living with two parents ― in the past only one parent was identified. Before 2007, a child living with two unmarried parents was tabulated as a child living with a single parent.
In 2007, 67.1 million opposite sex couples lived together; 60.7 million were married couples, and 6.4 million were unmarried couples.
Four out of 10, or approximately 2.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples, lived with at least one biological child of either partner. In contrast, 26.8 million married couple families had children living at home.
Among the findings about the 2.2 million children living with two unmarried parents:
Of the 2.5 million unmarried couples living with at least one biological child of either partner:
For more information on the changes made in 2007 to the families and households data collection in the Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement, a working paper is available at <http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps08/twps08.pdf> [PDF].
This survey was conducted in February, March and April for a nationwide sample of about 100,000 addresses. Statistics from surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For more information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, see Appendix G at <http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmar07.pdf> [PDF].