Nuclear family on the decline

Published 11:38 am Friday, May 13, 2011

The traditional household of a husband, wife and their children has become less common in Mower County.

In 2000, more than 22 percent of families fit the traditional description, while fewer than 6 percent of families were women with their children and no husbands. The 2000 census doesn’t even list statistics for single men living with their children, but 2010 data suggests that demographic makes up 3 percent of Mower County families.

The 2010 census found only 19 percent of families included a wife, husband and their kids — more than a 3 percent drop from 2000. The number of Mower County women raising their children without a husband rose by 274.

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In 2010, the census included data on same-sex spouses who self-identify as married — another indication that America’s family structure is evolving. Same-sex data was grouped in with “nonfamily households,” which also includes people living alone and households which do not have any members related to the householder.

Nonfamily households increased by 208 to comprise more than 35 percent of households in Mower County.

Minnesota’s traditional husband-wife-kids families saw a 4 percent decrease across the whole state.

Figures from the 2010 census released Wednesday night found 100,000 more Minnesota families living without children under 18 than did the 2000 census.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.