Social Change in America: The Historical Handbook 2006 by Patricia C. Becker

By Patricia C. Becker

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Since the early 1960s, the dependency ratio has been declining (dropping to 62 per 100 persons in 2000), and is forecasted to continue declining until about the year 2010. At that point, it will begin to rise because of the increasing age of the population, as well as the (projected) increasing number of births. In 2050, the dependency ratio is projected to be about where it was in 1970, but the mix of dependents will be considerably different. In 1960, almost 4 out of every 5 dependents were children, and the remainder were elderly.

S. Census Bureau. Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2001 (Report P70-97). (Feb. pdf>. (Accessed Feb. ) Households and Families 15 “NON-TRADITIONAL” HOUSEHOLDS Table 2-3. Household Type, 2004 As a result of the tendency to delay marriage (or to avoid it entirely, as described in the previous section) and the increased divorce rates, the last few decades have seen a proliferation of one-person households and nonfamily households. In 1960, at the height of an era that has come to epitomize the positive attributes of marriage and the two-parent family household, married-couple families accounted for 75 percent of all households and represented 87 percent of all families.

The majority of these couples were made up of people who had never been married (58 percent); another third had been previously married but were divorced. ) The majority of these households had no children under 18 years old. Table 2-1. ) Percent distribution Sex and age Total (thousands) Married, spouse present or absent Separated or divorced Widowed Never married Both Sexes 15 years and over ....................................................... 0 15 to 24 years .............................................................

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