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18 Percent of Households Are Nuclear Families

The number of homes in America with the traditional “nuclear family” of a married couple with children is now the lowest it has been since 1959, according to Census data. The Census Bureau's count showed that 17.8 percent of the United States' 130 million households featured married parents with children under the age of 18. That's down significantly from over 40 percent in 1970.

There are currently just 23.1 million American homes with those “nuclear families,” which is the fewest since 1959. The average age of a woman at her first marriage is now 28.6 years. In the 1950s and 60s, women typically married at 20.4 years old. The average age for men to marry for the first time in 2021 was 30.4 years old.

Over 37 million adults lived alone in early 2021, up from 33 million in 2011. As far back as 1960, 87 percent of adults lived with a spouse. The percentage of adults living with an unmarried partner also increased, from 7% to 8%.

Historical numbers show adults trending away from marriage. In 2021, 34 percent of those age 15 and older reported never having been married, up from 23 percent in 1950.

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