The American family has changed dramatically. While the old “ideal” involved couples marrying young, then starting a family, and staying married till “death do they part”, the family has become more complex, and less “traditional”.
According to analysis by Pew Research, in 2013 less than half (46%) of children lived in a traditional family structure of two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. That is a marked change from 1980 when it was 61%. An additional 15% now live with two parents, at least one of whom has been remarried at least once, 34% live with a single parent compared with 19% in 1980, and 5% of children are not living with any parent, but rather with their grandparent.