Marriage and Household Statistics
Discover a variety of fascinating statistics about American families, including household size and distribution by age, marriage and divorce information, and the number of adopted and fostered children in the United States.
Marriage and Divorce
Legally sanctioned marriage is one of the oldest (and most contentious) institutions in the United States, carrying with it many legal and social benefits beyond the official recognition of a relationship. Of course, some people never get married, and some of those who do find out that it doesn't quite work for them. See how many Americans are bonded in matrimony, how many are not, and how many used to be.
A household, as might be inferred, is the group of people living together in the same house. The household is, in some ways, the foundational building block of the United States. Households don't all look the same, however, ranging from single residents to bustling broods. Learn more about how people live in the United States, what kind of families they tend to have, and how these things differ across boundaries of class, race, and age.
Adoption and Foster Care
When it is deemed necessary that a child is separated from their birth parents (due to abuse, tragedy, or other circumstances), that child is put into the foster care system. While in foster care, the child is under the legal guardianship of the state. Daily living requirements fall to the homes or institutions in which the foster children are housed. Foster care is preferably handled in private homes, or in cases where that isn't viable then children are fostered in places like orphanages.
Adoption is when private citizens take over the legal and parental responsibility for a child, usually one previously under the foster care system. Adoption was widely practiced in the Roman Empire (Augustus Caesar, for example, became emperor due to his adoption by Julius Caesar), but fell out of practice in the Middle Ages. The modern system of legal adoption as a family member started gaining significant ground following the American Civil War, which left so many orphans that it stressed the orphanage system to its limit.
Read more about the state of adoption and foster care in the United States, the history of adoption, and some of the world's most famous adoptive families.