Jun 21, 2011  •  In Home, Infographics, Information, Personal, Relationships

How Many Households Are Like Yours?

Over the weekend, the NYTimes ran an article titled “Baby Makes Four, and Complications” which tells the story of a woman, her son, her sperm donor and his lover, citing them as an example of the changing face of the American family.

This was no big news to me. After all, the idea of the traditional nuclear family is being questioned every day, and for the first time ever, the percentage of households headed by married couples has dropped below 50 percent (according to 2010 U.S. Census figures).

What particularly caught my eye about the article was its accompanying interactive webpage, “How Many Households Are Like Yours?” Upon entering the page, the visitor is prompted to choose the primary residents of his/her household, to see how their household compares to the rest of America, and to explore how the different types of American families have changed over time.

I quickly entered our household stats: a married couple with two children (BebeDeux isn’t born yet but she still counts in my eyes) under the age of 18. Here is how we stacked up:

I was pretty surprised by the results — I really believed that a married couple with two kids would account for more than 7.25% of all U.S. households!

It was also interesting to note that compared to other groups, a higher proportion of Asians live in our type of household, and how we fit right into the $75k-$150k income category. (I guess we are pretty stereotypical?  ;-) )

How does your household compare? Are you at all surprised by the statistics?

7 Responses to “How Many Households Are Like Yours?”

  1. Ang:

    Interesting! My household of 7 represents only 0.18% of the population.

  2. It’s just me and my husband for now, and we make 21% of the US population… weird, I’d expect that your situation (married with two kids) would be much more frequent!

  3. I was kind of surprised as well. Maybe our samples are skewed because people tend to gravitate towards people in similar circumstances? A lot of my friends are in a similar boat- heterosexual, married, one child. Or because the ‘traditional nuclear family’ is a favorite of prime time TV?

    I also read the article and found it kind of ridiculous. I don’t think it painted the adults in a good light. They sounded so pretentious with all their naval gazing and discussions of their neurosis.

    Overall, the article left me wondering if there were really people like that out there or if the adults were putting on airs for the reporter.

    • Emily:

      Yeah, those people are kind of hard to even read about. The article was written in such a meandering way, like (excuse me) I should care about all their crap. And I usually go in for the indie-style navel gazing kind of stories. I like slice-of-life pieces, but reading about those people was stultifying.

      It’s interesting that there are so many married couples living alone, although I guess that’s the way it goes–the kids grow up and leave, plus all the young couples who are waiting longer and longer to have kids (if they have them at all). And then there are fewer married couples with one kid under 18 than with two, so I guess if you’re going to have kids, you generally don’t stop at one. I’m an only child and that worked well for us, but it’s true that DH and I would like to have a second. After all that, though, if you add my mother living with us (technically not true but we support her entirely), we plummet to below 1%!

  4. Michelle Potter:

    Only .02% of American households are like mine. That’s not a typo — two-hundredths of a percent. We are a married couple with seven children under the age of 18. According to the quiz, households like ours were more common in 1900, a higher proportion of Hispanics live in these households (we’re white), and the average income is $30-50k. The high end is still less than half of our income — I can’t imagine anyone raising seven kids on that! (And we live in a relatively inexpensive city!)

  5. Neat! We’re 21% (married, no kids), and white (it says 85% are white in this category), and in the 75-150k range (with the 30% majority). I guess we’re a stereotype (though it says these households occurred most in 1970).

  6. MrsW:

    0.01%! We’re superfreaks!
    Married hetero couple (my in-laws) with two adult children at home (my husband and his 19 year old college-bound sister) with a child-in-law (me) and a grandchild (BabyW). When you add in my military sibs-in-law who are physically absent but legally residing at this address, the statistics drop to <0.01%, or less than a thousand households.

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