Census: Recession Hit Families Hard

September 3, 2013 | Comments Off on Census: Recession Hit Families Hard

The aftermath of the recession sparked a change in family life that is being reflected in housing needs.

Home ownership among households with children dropped 15 percent from 2005 to 2011, the Census Bureau reports. Also during that time, there was a 33 percent increase in households where at least one parent was unemployed (with Nevada, California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida seeing the highest numbers of unemployed parents). The recession also prompted more mothers to enter the workforce.

“During the recession, economic well-being worsened for families with children,” Jamie Lewis, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, told The New York Times. “Even after the recession officially ended in 2009, these measures remained worse than before it began.”

Also, a higher percentage of adult children aged 25 to 34 moved in with their parents. The share of men moving back home rose from 13 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2012, and for women, it rose from 8 percent to 10 percent.

Already-declining trends in marriage and household formation also escalated during the recession. The number of married people living together with children dropped from 40 percent to 20 percent between 1970 and 2012. Also during that time, the number of people living alone grew 10 percentage points to 27 percent.

“Over the last half-century, the trend in the U.S. has been toward smaller households, fewer family and married-couple households with children, and more people living alone,” says Jonathan Vespa, also a co-author of the report. “Many of these trends reflect a rising age at first marriage and older adults who can live in their own home for longer.”

Source: “New Census Numbers Show Recession’s Effect on Families,” The New York Times (Aug. 27, 2013)


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