The Demography of Families: A Review of Patterns and Change

The Demography of Families: A Review of Patterns and Change

Publication Abstract

Smock, Pamela, and Christine R. Schwartz. 2020. "The Demography of Families: A Review of Patterns and Change." Journal of Marriage and Family, 82(1): 9-34. (Decade-in-review issue)

The authors review demographic trends and research on families in the United States, with a special focus on the past decade. They consider the following several topics: (a) marriage and remarriage, (b) divorce, (c) cohabitation, (d) fertility, (e) same-gender unions, (f) immigrant families, and (g) children's living arrangements. Throughout, the authors review both overall trends and patterns as well as those by social class and race-ethnicity. The authors discuss major strands of recent research, emphasizing emerging themes and promising directions. They close with a summary of central patterns and trends and conclude that recent trends are not as uniform as they tended to be in earlier decades, making the description of family change increasingly complex.


Public Access Link

Christine Schwartz, Center for Demography and Ecology at U-W-Madison

Cohabitation Divorce Family Fertility Marriage Same-Sex Marriage

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