The New American Family

Think your family is unusual? That probably makes it normal. The American family is in the midst of unprecedented change. And, as with so many other aspects of modern life, boomers deserve much of the credit — or the blame.

When boomers were kids in the 1950s, 60 percent of U.S. families consisted of two married parents: a breadwinner and a homemaker. Today only 20 percent of American children live in such a family. Instead, couples divorce — or never marry in the first place — and form new households, raising their kids in a tumble of step- and half-siblings. And although the divorce rate has been declining among younger couples, among boomers it has increased 50 percent in the past 20 years — with no slowdown in sight.

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