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Word Count: 296
The Increase in Small Families in the United States The number of small families in the United States has increased dramatically over the past few decades According to US Census Bureau statistics the average American household now has only 262 people compared to 493 in 1890 and 337 in 1950 There are several reasons for this statistic One is that couples are simply having fewer children Another is the coinciding rise in the divorce rate Yet another is the staggering number of births to women out of wedlock Couples today generally have fewer children than their counterparts did 100 or even 50 years ago It was not uncommon at the turn of the century to see parents with five or more children Nowadays the rising cost of living and time-consuming careers make most modern parents balk at the idea of having a family with five or more children Most are content to have only one or two The rising divorce rate is another factor in the family size shrinking Statistics show that the number of divorced adults quadrupled from 43 million in 1970 to 174 million in 1994 Often these couples have had children and the family is split into two smaller households Many women today are having babies out of wedlock creating single parent families These are perhaps the best example of the small family problem in America Many of these single parents raise their child or children alone which adds to the number of small families and brings the average household number down Purposefully smaller families rising divorce rates and more births out of wedlock are three key reasons why there are so many small families in the United States today They are part of the reason families have been shrinking and most likely will continue to do so well
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