Thomas Gallatin / July 23, 2021

Good News About American Families

After decades of decline, the percentage of children living in two-parent homes is on the rise.

The statics have been so commonly repeated that few are surprised to hear the traditional nuclear family in America is in bad shape. Fortunately, there’s a glimmer of hope.

The numbers of children growing up in broken homes over the past 50 years has seemingly only grown. For example, in 2014, data showed that over 40% of babies were born out of wedlock, with that number jumping to an upsetting 70% of black babies. Furthermore, for women under the age of 30 bearing children, 65.7% of babies were born out of wedlock.

Data shows that breakdown of the nuclear family directly contributes to both poverty and crime rates. And children growing up in broken homes are more likely to repeat the same destructive decisions, fueling a culture of poverty and crime.

As Focus on the Family’s vice president of governmental and external relations, Tim Goeglin, observed in his book American Restoration: “When politicians, activists, and social commentators talk about inequality, they often leave out the critical role married parents play in keeping children above the poverty line. There is evidence that the breakdown of the nuclear family in American society is, in fact, the primary reason why the gulf between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ has widened over the past fifty years.”

However, just as it seems there was little hope of this destructive reality reversing, there’s some good news emerging. In a recent report out of the Institute for Family Studies, Nicholas Zill writes, “A funny thing happened on the way to extinction: although not out of intensive care, the supposed corpse of the two-parent family seems to be breathing new life.”

Zill observes that recent data shows the percentage of children living in two-parent homes has risen to 70%, while the percentage of children living in single-parent homes dropped from 28% to 25%.

Within the black community, the number of high school seniors living in a home with their biological fathers rose from 24% to 30%. That’s still a tragically low number, but it does show a positive turn in the right direction. And remember, this is despite the Left’s incessant attacks on the nuclear family. Just imagine how much more those numbers would grow if the family wasn’t under constant attack.

This should encourage all of us who are waging the cultural fight against anti-family statists. It may be a long game, but the labor is not in vain.

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