Family definitions from the census
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Family Definitions from the Census.

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Family Definitions from the Census

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Family definitions from the census

Family Definitions from the Census

  • Family: A family is a group of two people or more (one of whom is the householder) related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together; all such people (including related subfamily members) are considered as members of one family. Beginning with the 1980 Current Population Survey, unrelated subfamilies (referred to in the past as secondary families) are no longer included in the count of families, nor are the members of unrelated subfamilies included in the count of family members. The number of families is equal to the number of family households, however, the count of family members differs from the count of family household members because family household members include any non-relatives living in the household.

  • Family group: A family group is any two or more people (not necessarily including a householder) residing together, and related by birth, marriage, or adoption. A household may be composed of one such group, more than one, or none at all. The count of family groups includes family households, related subfamilies, and unrelated subfamilies.

  • Family household: A family household is a household maintained by a householder who is in a family (as defined above), and includes any unrelated people (unrelated subfamily members and/or secondary individuals) who may be residing there. The number of family households is equal to the number of families. The count of family household members differs from the count of family members, however, in that the family household members include all people living in the household, whereas family members include only the householder and his/her relatives. See the definition of family.


Colonial families

Colonial Families

  • Parental approval and other factors besides romantic love played a role in colonial marriages.

  • Children were not children for very long.

  • The father’s place of work was characteristically at home, or very nearby.

  • Although the husband was considered the head of the family and although there was a sexual division of labor in terms of kinds of work, the sharp division between provider-husband and homemaker-wife did not exist.

  • The colonial family, far from being a retreat from the real world, performed numerous functions of what later would be considered a public or social nature.

  • Source: Gill, Glazer and Thernstrom, Our Changing Population


Functions of colonial family

Functions of Colonial Family

  • School

  • Vocational Training

  • Religious instruction

  • Jails

  • Economic refuge for socially vulnerable


Watershed events for families

Watershed Events for Families

  • Industrialization

  • Urbanization

  • The Great Depression

  • WWII and Baby Boom

  • Feminism

  • Dual Earner Families


Changes to the family

Changes to the Family

  • The family changes from a unit of production to a unit of consumption.

  • Private functions given over to public functions.

  • Industrialization takes father out of home.

    • Consequences: Sole-provider husband and cult of domesticity

  • Age at first marriage rises and falls

  • Mothers leave home for workforce

  • Fertility decreases

  • Divorce increases


Age at first marriage rises and falls

Age at first marriage rises and falls


Fertility decreases

Fertility decreases


Relational transition post divorce and one remarriage

Relational Transition Post Divorce and One Remarriage


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