The 'Traditional Family' Is NOT 'Rebounding' as the Census Bureau Claims; Diversity Is the Norm

Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Association for Single People

    LOS ANGELES, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association for Single
 People takes exception to the title of a press release issued today by the
 Census Bureau.  On closer examination, the government's media spin that "the
 nuclear family rebounds" turns out to be a distortion.
     The Census Bureau issued a new report today which examines the living
 arrangements of children in the United States in 1996.  The official
 government report was announced by a press release from the Commerce
 Department which declares "The 'Nuclear Family' Rebounds, Census Bureau
 Reports."
     In fact, more recent data from the Census Bureau shows that the percent of
 children living with a single parent has continued to increase each decade
 since 1960 when only 9.1 percent of children resided in single parent
 families.  As of 1998, the Census Bureau's annual report showed that nearly
 20 million children, more than 27% of all youth in the nation, lived with a
 single parent.  One million more minors lived with a single parent in 1998
 than in 1995.
     "Nuclear family rebounds" turns out to be even more inaccurate when one
 looks at other census data from the perspective of the nation's households.
     The percent of American households which contain a married couple has
 steadily declined since a peak in 1950 when 78 percent of our households
 included married couples.  An annual survey done by the Census Bureau in 2000
 of 50,000 households found that married couple households had declined to
 52.8 percent.
     When children are thrown into the mix, the decline in the percent of
 married-with-children households has dropped even further.  For example,
 census reports show that in 1970, more than 40 percent of the nation's
 households were comprised of married couples with children.  That percent has
 been steadily dropping, to 31 percent in 1980, 26 percent in 1990, and
 24 percent in 1999.
     "Since married-with-children households have dropped that dramatically in
 30 years, and with the percent of children living with single parents
 continuing to increase each year, it is amazing that the Census Bureau would
 issue a press release that claims the 'nuclear family' of married couples
 raising children is rebounding," said Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of
 the American Association for Single People.  "This type of a media spin on
 facts such as these looks as though it could have political underpinnings," he
 added.
     "AASP is not for or against marriage or traditional families," Coleman
 explained.  "We want society to respect the personal decisions that Americans
 make as to whether they choose to marry or not, and whether they choose to
 have children or not."
     This new census report is being released at a time when tax reform
 proposals are a major topic of debate in Washington.  Some of the proposals
 focus on married taxpayers with children at home.  But lawmakers should
 remember that many of their constituents have different types of living
 arrangements.
     "It's time for Congress to focus on tax relief for ALL Americans,
 including unmarried wage-earners and taxpayers," Coleman stressed.  "After
 all, we make up 40 percent of the nation's full-time workforce."
     AASP is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization promoting the well being
 of all of America's 82 million unmarried adults, whether they live alone, with
 a roommate or domestic partner, or whether they are a single parent or live
 with other relatives.  AASP uses educational means to insure that the concerns
 of unmarried Americans are considered by elected representatives, corporate
 executives, political party officials, and the general public.
     "Unmarried Americans, whether they have children or not, deserve to be
 treated fairly," Coleman said.  "And as it stands now, we are not."
     Marital status discrimination is pervasive in our tax codes, such as in
 the federal death tax.  While a married person may leave an unlimited amount
 of wealth to a surviving spouse without being taxed at all by the federal
 government, unmarried people are treated differently.
     "Why should a single parent not be able to leave tax-free assets to a
 surviving child?" Coleman asked.  "If taxation is going to be 'marriage
 neutral' as Senator Joe Lieberman and others in Congress say it should be,
 then an unmarried adult should be able to leave assets to a relative or
 domestic partner tax free," he added.
     "Removing marital status discrimination from the tax codes either requires
 eliminating the tax, or taxing married people the same as unmarried people --
 whether we are talking about the death tax or about the 'marriage bonus' that
 most married couples get when they file a joint return," Coleman said.
 "What's fair for one should be fair for all."
     One thing is certain.  Marital status discrimination will not stop until
 unmarried Americans begin to speak out and to organize.
     "The squeaky wheel gets oiled," Coleman observed.  "Single people need to
 take a page out of the book of older Americans.  In 1950, seniors were
 relatively powerless, but today AARP has 34 million members and politicians
 pay attention to the needs of our seniors."
     The American Association for Single People wants to provide a collective
 voice for the 82 million unmarried Americans -- whether they have children or
 not, whether they are gay or heterosexual, whether they are men or women, or
 whether they are young or old.  Any adult may join AASP by making a tax
 deductible donation of $10 or more.
     Reporters and other media may contact Stephanie Knapik, Director of Public
 Affairs, at (818) 242-5124 or e-mail her at knapik@unmarriedAmerica.com.
     We can also put members of the media in touch with authors of books about
 single parent families who have provided us with comments about the new census
 data on children as well as other types of living arrangements.
     The pages on our website about the new census report may be accessed at:
 http://www.unmarriedamerica.com/Census-Children-Report/press.htm
 
 

SOURCE American Association for Single People
    LOS ANGELES, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Association for Single
 People takes exception to the title of a press release issued today by the
 Census Bureau.  On closer examination, the government's media spin that "the
 nuclear family rebounds" turns out to be a distortion.
     The Census Bureau issued a new report today which examines the living
 arrangements of children in the United States in 1996.  The official
 government report was announced by a press release from the Commerce
 Department which declares "The 'Nuclear Family' Rebounds, Census Bureau
 Reports."
     In fact, more recent data from the Census Bureau shows that the percent of
 children living with a single parent has continued to increase each decade
 since 1960 when only 9.1 percent of children resided in single parent
 families.  As of 1998, the Census Bureau's annual report showed that nearly
 20 million children, more than 27% of all youth in the nation, lived with a
 single parent.  One million more minors lived with a single parent in 1998
 than in 1995.
     "Nuclear family rebounds" turns out to be even more inaccurate when one
 looks at other census data from the perspective of the nation's households.
     The percent of American households which contain a married couple has
 steadily declined since a peak in 1950 when 78 percent of our households
 included married couples.  An annual survey done by the Census Bureau in 2000
 of 50,000 households found that married couple households had declined to
 52.8 percent.
     When children are thrown into the mix, the decline in the percent of
 married-with-children households has dropped even further.  For example,
 census reports show that in 1970, more than 40 percent of the nation's
 households were comprised of married couples with children.  That percent has
 been steadily dropping, to 31 percent in 1980, 26 percent in 1990, and
 24 percent in 1999.
     "Since married-with-children households have dropped that dramatically in
 30 years, and with the percent of children living with single parents
 continuing to increase each year, it is amazing that the Census Bureau would
 issue a press release that claims the 'nuclear family' of married couples
 raising children is rebounding," said Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of
 the American Association for Single People.  "This type of a media spin on
 facts such as these looks as though it could have political underpinnings," he
 added.
     "AASP is not for or against marriage or traditional families," Coleman
 explained.  "We want society to respect the personal decisions that Americans
 make as to whether they choose to marry or not, and whether they choose to
 have children or not."
     This new census report is being released at a time when tax reform
 proposals are a major topic of debate in Washington.  Some of the proposals
 focus on married taxpayers with children at home.  But lawmakers should
 remember that many of their constituents have different types of living
 arrangements.
     "It's time for Congress to focus on tax relief for ALL Americans,
 including unmarried wage-earners and taxpayers," Coleman stressed.  "After
 all, we make up 40 percent of the nation's full-time workforce."
     AASP is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization promoting the well being
 of all of America's 82 million unmarried adults, whether they live alone, with
 a roommate or domestic partner, or whether they are a single parent or live
 with other relatives.  AASP uses educational means to insure that the concerns
 of unmarried Americans are considered by elected representatives, corporate
 executives, political party officials, and the general public.
     "Unmarried Americans, whether they have children or not, deserve to be
 treated fairly," Coleman said.  "And as it stands now, we are not."
     Marital status discrimination is pervasive in our tax codes, such as in
 the federal death tax.  While a married person may leave an unlimited amount
 of wealth to a surviving spouse without being taxed at all by the federal
 government, unmarried people are treated differently.
     "Why should a single parent not be able to leave tax-free assets to a
 surviving child?" Coleman asked.  "If taxation is going to be 'marriage
 neutral' as Senator Joe Lieberman and others in Congress say it should be,
 then an unmarried adult should be able to leave assets to a relative or
 domestic partner tax free," he added.
     "Removing marital status discrimination from the tax codes either requires
 eliminating the tax, or taxing married people the same as unmarried people --
 whether we are talking about the death tax or about the 'marriage bonus' that
 most married couples get when they file a joint return," Coleman said.
 "What's fair for one should be fair for all."
     One thing is certain.  Marital status discrimination will not stop until
 unmarried Americans begin to speak out and to organize.
     "The squeaky wheel gets oiled," Coleman observed.  "Single people need to
 take a page out of the book of older Americans.  In 1950, seniors were
 relatively powerless, but today AARP has 34 million members and politicians
 pay attention to the needs of our seniors."
     The American Association for Single People wants to provide a collective
 voice for the 82 million unmarried Americans -- whether they have children or
 not, whether they are gay or heterosexual, whether they are men or women, or
 whether they are young or old.  Any adult may join AASP by making a tax
 deductible donation of $10 or more.
     Reporters and other media may contact Stephanie Knapik, Director of Public
 Affairs, at (818) 242-5124 or e-mail her at knapik@unmarriedAmerica.com.
     We can also put members of the media in touch with authors of books about
 single parent families who have provided us with comments about the new census
 data on children as well as other types of living arrangements.
     The pages on our website about the new census report may be accessed at:
 http://www.unmarriedamerica.com/Census-Children-Report/press.htm
 
 SOURCE  American Association for Single People