Who Is Included in YOUR Family?

On Yahoo! News today,  Susan Heavey posted an article entitled “U site web.S. Families Shift as Fewer Households Include Children: Census”.  Heavey stated that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of U.S. households that consist of two married parents with children has significantly decreased, from 40 percent in 1970 to 20 percent in 2012.

At the same time, the number of single-person households has increased, from 17 percent in 1970 to 24 percent in 2012.

Based on these Census numbers, the idea of “family” is changing in our U.S. culture.  More people are choosing other types of living options, rather than the traditional nuclear family configuration.  This fact also emphasizes the declining birth rate in our country.  Jonathan Vespa, one of the Census Bureau’s researchers, stated, “Over the last half-century, the trend in the U.S. has been toward smaller households, fewer family and married-couple households with children, and more people living alone.”  Specifically, in 2012, 57 percent of U.S. households were childless (about 29 percent were childless married couples, and about 28 percent were people living alone.)

There are many questions to consider when we are trying to decide whether or not to have children.  Some of these are:

1.  Do I want to establish a stable career before having children?

2.  Am I willing to make significant lifestyle changes to accommodate having children?

3.  Am I financially able to support having children?

These can be very tough questions to answer.  When we get stuck in trying to figure out the answers on our own, it could be helpful to discuss our thoughts and concerns with a licensed counselor, in order to gain clarity of what we want for our life, and how to accomplish that.

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