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Children Living with Two Parents: Census Bureau Shows It's Making a Comeback

Black parents (Adobe stock image)

Some positive news is out from the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of two-parent families is on the rise in America.
In the mid-2000's, only about two-thirds of families included both mother and father in the home, leading some to write off traditional families altogether.

However, the nuclear family is making a comeback.

"It still hurts. And I see that. And in some ways, it's pushed me to be a better father than maybe I would have been? I don't know," shared Christian Hip Hop artist, Legin, about growing up without his dad. 

"In other ways, I see the deficiencies of what I don't know to do because I didn't have him," he continued.    

While Legin still feels the effects, he uses his experience to help others like him.

"A lot of times in my shows I say, 'Raise your hand if you grew up without a father.' And there's always half the crowd," he told CBN News. "It doesn't matter what the crowd looks like, white, black, it just, it's always half the crowd."
We are beginning to see signs of hope, however.        

A research psychologist and senior fellow of the Institute for Family Studies says results from the Census Bureau are encouraging when it comes to the status of two-parent families. 

Nicholas Zill says recent statistics show the percentage of children living with two parents has gradually improved, passing the 70 percent mark in 2020.
He tells CBN News it marks a sea change because experts had been seeing the traditional nuclear family as a thing of the past. He says they had predicted, "'It's going to be replaced by a menagerie of alternate family forms, single-parent families, blended families, all sorts of varieties,' and for a long time, the experts seemed to be right."

"It was declining from nearly 90 percent in 1960 down to about two-thirds in the mid-2000's," he said.
Zill goes on to say the rebound reflects the largest percentage of children living with both parents in thirty years.

So what's behind the increase?

"A growing proportion of the child population comes from families that are evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, other groups that are more committed to traditional two-parent families," he said.

"And we also should point out, a number of immigrant families, including especially those from Asia – Indian families, Pakistani families, Philippine families – which show a greater propensity to have stable two-parent families," he continued.

Zill also says people looked at the positive results of two-parent families.

"And people put two and two together and said, 'It is better for children; the conventional wisdom is right!'" he exclaimed. "'It is better for children to have both of their parents in a stable family, in an upbringing.'"

"'And it's not only better for the individual children, it's better for the community,'" he continued. "'It's better for the neighborhood. When there are other married couples to look out for kids, it results in lower crime and higher school achievement.'"

Another finding in his study that Zill calls "one of the most encouraging developments" is the increase in the number of African American high school seniors being raised by their birth fathers as well as their birth mothers.
That percentage rose from 24 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2019.

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