Fifty years ago, less than 7% of parents living with their children were unmarried. Half a century later, marriage rates have begun to decline pretty drastically, causing the number of unmarried couples raising children to rise to 25%, which is roughly one in four American parents.
A new study of social trends in the US conducted by The Pew Research Center believes people are gradually becoming more open-minded about single parenting. A General Social Survey conducted back in 1994 co-signs this estimation with only 35% of Americans saying they believed a single parent could effectively raise a child. Less than 20 years later, a follow-up study published in 2012, reported that 48% of respondents were found to agree with this.
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The number of Americans that are softening on single parenting continues to experience an upward trend, however, the extent is further determined by other factors, like race and political alignment.
Fifty-three percent of white Americans expressed a negative opinion of the rise of unmarried couples raising children, compared to the 37% of black citizens and 32% of Hispanic citizens that seconded this. Seventy percent of Republicans felt the upward trend was “bad for society,” while only 32% of Democrats felt the same.
On mass people were much less charitable about single mothers raising children than they were about unmarried couples. Back in 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey to gauge the American public’s general perception of single mothers specifically. Sixty-six percent (two thirds) felt that a rise in single mothers raising kids is harmful to society. The average citizen thought more meanly of single motherhood than they did about children being raised by gay parents, given only one in four felt that this was bad for society.
Single motherhood is actually becoming less and less prevalent. Eighty-eight percent of unmarried parents were women with no spouse or significant other in the household. Unmarried parents that exclusively belonged to 68% by 1997, and again to 53% in 2017. In 2019, 35% of all unmarried parents are living with a significant other and 12% are solo dads.
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