The Public Renders a Split Verdict On Changes in Family Structure
The American public is sharply divided in its judgments about the sweeping changes in the structure of the nation’s families that have unfolded over the past half century. About a third generally accepts the changes, a third is tolerant but skeptical and a third considers them bad for society.
A Portrait of Stepfamilies
More than four-in-ten adults have at least one step relative. They are just as likely as others to say family is important, but they typically feel a stronger sense of obligation to biological family members than to step relatives.
Baby Boomers Approach Age 65 — Glumly
Perched on the front stoop of old age, Baby Boomers are more downbeat than other age groups about the trajectory of their own lives and about the direction of the nation as a whole.
The Rise of College Student Borrowing
Graduates who received a bachelor’s degree in 2008 borrowed 50% more (in inflation-adjusted dollars) than their counterparts who graduated in 1996.
The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families
Americans today are less likely to be married than at any time in the nation’s history. Rates have declined for all groups, but they have fallen most sharply among those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. A new survey finds that these less-advantaged adults are more likely than others to say that economic security is an important reason to marry. Even as marriage shrinks, family remains the most important and most satisfying element in the lives of most Americans.
The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap
In a reversal of long-standing marital patterns, college-educated young adults are now slightly more likely than young adults lacking a bachelor’s degree to have married by the age of 30.
One Recession, Two Americas
For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets. But for the other 45%, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, but more than a third say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable under certain circumstances. Homeowners whose home values declined during the recession and those who have spent time unemployed are more likely to say that “walking away” from a mortgage is acceptable.
Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents
One child in 10 in the U.S. lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession. About 40% of all children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent.
Most ’Re-employed’ Workers Say They’re Overqualified for Their New Job
Workers who suffered a spell of unemployment during the recession are, on average, less satisfied with their new jobs than workers who didn’t. These re-employed workers also are more likely to consider themselves over-qualified for their current position. And six-in-ten say they changed careers or seriously thought about it while they were unemployed.