May 31, 2011
JESSE POWELL writes:
According to U.S. Census statistics released last week, six of the 25 largest cities in America have such high levels of family breakdown that the majority of homes with children are not headed by a married couple. Those cities are Boston, Washington D. C., Philadelphia, Memphis, Baltimore and Detroit.
The Married Families ratio (the proportion of homes with children under 18 headed by a married couple) continued to decline in all of the 25 most populous cities except New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
It held virtually steady in New York and increased by almost four percentage points in Washington, D.C. Looking at the figures for major cities, one finds vast differences. Chicago had a significantly higher Married Families ratio (57.3 percent), than both Philadelphia (44.4 percent) and Boston (49.1). The ratio was 62 percent in Phoenix and 37.5 percent in Baltimore. Heavily Hispanic cities have more married couples than comparably black cities.
The Married Families ratio in the worst city in 1950 was better than the best city in 2010, by a wide margin (83.6% versus 76.5%). Blacks had a higher Married Families ratio in 1950 than whites did in the year 2000 (80.1% versus 77.6%). (A racial breakdown for 2010 is not yet available, but the comparison obviously still holds.)
In 1950, the Married Families ratio for the nation overall was 92.3 percent. In 2010, the Married Families ratio for the nation overall dropped to 67.9 percent. Read More »