|Sunday, May 20, 2001
Study shows married workers are paid more than
A story published today by the Washington Post reports that a study done by sociologists
Michelle Budig of the University of Arizona and Paula England of the University of
Pennsylvania found that single people are paid less then married workers.
The detailed survey allowed the researchers to examine the impact on wages of such factors
as age, race and education. But unlike most studies, the National Longitudinal Survey of
Youth (NLSY) also tracks years of continuous employment at a single firm and records any
brief interruptions in full-time employment -- subtle factors that social scientists have
found make a big difference in what people are paid.
Budig and England found strong evidence of a marriage premium: Married people, both men
and women, are paid more than single people with the same job, skills and experience. But
that bonus is wiped out if a woman has two children, and a third child results in "a
net wage penalty," the researchers found.
trend rises, but remains a bastion of marriage
A story published today by the Salt Lake Tribune
reports that the newly released census figures and other data reinforces Utah's reputation
as a bastion of marriage.
A total of 24,104 Utahns described themselves as unmarried partners for the latest census,
a leap from the 11,466 who did so in 1990. That's only 1.1 percent of the state's
population -- and below the 1.9 percent national average. But University of Utah
sociologist Dennis Willigan calls the new figures a significant bump for a traditionally
"The cultural norm in Utah continues to be 'let's get married' rather than 'let's
move in together,' " Willigan says. "But what you're seeing is more delayed
marriage among young adults and divorced adults, so there is a substantially higher rate
of cohabitation, especially in places such as Salt Lake County and Summit County. Then
you've got places like Utah County where cohabitation would be more taboo."
The census numbers tell the story. In Salt Lake City and Ogden, 2.1 percent described
themselves as being in a cohabiting relationship. In more conservative Provo, that figure
dwindled to 0.4 percent.
Contrasts also are found in rural Utah. In more traditional towns such as Richfield or
Tremonton, the unmarried-partner rates -- 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively --
remain well below the state average. But resort communities such as Springdale (3.7
percent), Park City (1.9 percent), Moab (3 percent), and Boulder (5.0 percent) the
cohabitation picture changes considerably.
Willigan assumes that at least part of the cohabitation increase in Utah's urban areas can
be attributed to gay couples who find the "unmarried partners" category the best
way to describe their relationships. There is no way to quantify that assumption because
of confidentiality limits placed on the census, but anecdotal evidence is plentiful.
Cohabitation is hardly a new phenomenon. But studies show the practice has grown at a
dramatic rate during the past two decades. Since 1990, the percentage of people who
described themselves as unmarried partners in the census jumped from 1.3 percent to 1.9
Those percentages may seem low, but they represent an increase from 3.2 million unmarried
partners nationwide 10 years ago to nearly 5.5 million in the 2000 census.
"It's youth and inexperience," says Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative
Utah Eagle Forum. "All the data show that those who live together before marriage
have a much higher divorce rate, or they just don't get married. Those who get married
first and have children tend to stay married more.
"But I'm not surprised the [cohabitation] numbers are going up," she says.
"It's to be expected. Go to the movies, and half the time, even if nothing sexual is
going on, the couple is living together. What used to be a kiss is now going to bed. It's
bound to impact some of these kids and bound to impact their lives."
Census show 'army of ones' increasing
in Kentucky, Indiana
A story published today by the Courier-Journal reports that
the tradeoffs of living alone are being made by more people than ever, according to
figures released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
From 1990 to 2000, this "army of ones" grew by more
than 200,000 in Kentucky and Indiana, or 29 percent and 22 percent, respectively.
Nationally, the number of people who live alone increased 21
percent during the same period.
Ron Crouch, director of Kentucky's State Data Center, said
living alone is part of the growth in what is termed "non-family households."
In Kentucky, family households -- including single people
with children, married couples and married couples with children -- grew by less than 9
percent. Non-family households -- including households with roommates, unmarried partners
or people living alone -- grew by almost 34 percent.
Nationally, non-family households grew faster than family
households -- 23 percent to 11 percent.
The category with the largest percentage jump in Kentucky and
Indiana was the number of "unmarried partners," which grew by 121 percent in
Kentucky and by 84 percent in Indiana. (Nationally, there was an increase of about 72
The actual numerical increase in people reporting living with
unmarried partners is smaller than those percentages might suggest, about 96,000 in both
states. And Crouch thinks the apparent growth is, at least in part, a result of more
Both heterosexual and homosexual couples may have been more
open about their relationships in 2000 than they were in 1990, the first year that the
Census asked the "unmarried partner" question, he said.
In raw numbers nationally, people living alone grew at a more
rapid rate than the unmarried partner category.
In Kentucky, for example, the 2000 census showed an increase
of 92,848 people reporting living alone over 1990, more than twice as many as the 39,021
increase in those reporting living with unmarried partners.
Anita Barbee, an associate research professor at the Kent
School of Social Work at the University of Louisville, said the numbers probably reflect
three trends: Divorce leaves many people living alone in midlife; long lifespans mean that
some widows and widowers may live alone for decades; and trends toward delaying marriage
means that many young people who will eventually marry first spend some time alone.
Herbert Anderson, a retired theologian who lives in Seattle
and has written a book titled "Living Alone," said the trend reflects many
positive changes in society.
It is good, he maintains, when a widow has the financial
independence to stay in the home she loves, rather than having to move in with her
And it may be better for young people to get married at 25,
after a few years alone, rather than marrying in a rush at 19.
Still, Anderson said, the large increase in those living
alone does raise some concerns. "What it tells us," he said, "is maybe
worth paying attention to."
Anderson said that, for some people, living alone can lead to
isolation and a sense of being disconnected from the community. In any case, the trend
could affect many aspects of life.
For example, Anderson said, the trend toward outpatient
health care will have to take into consideration the way people live.
For outpatient care to work, he said, "Somebody has to
change the bandage, someone needs to . . . drive you to the next chemotherapy appointment.
Where will those networks come from?"
Health concerns may be especially important to older people
who live alone. In both Kentucky and Indiana, about 10 percent of all households are
people over 65 living alone.
Social-service programs have sprung up to help elderly people
living by themselves. In Louisville, TeleCare, which has about 400 clients, has assisted
such seniors for a quarter of a century as part of the nonprofit social-service agency
Volunteers, many of whom live alone themselves, make daily
phone calls to check on clients.
Bernice Jackson, one of the volunteers who make calls,
said that many of the 30 people she checks on each week would like to live with family,
but others enjoy their independence.
Jackson, meanwhile, brushes off questions about whether she
thinks the trend toward living alone is good or bad. "This is a new day and a new
world," she said. "Everything is different now. We just have to accept."
Saturday, May 19, 2001
Census indicates Americans living
together on a rise
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that living outside marriage
has surged in popularity in the 1990s, even in the Bible Belt states where alternative
arrangements traditionally have been seen as socially unacceptable.
Nationally, there were 72 percent more unmarried-partner households than a decade earlier,
2000 census figures showed. Homes headed by married couples increased by just 7 percent.
The practice of living together without being married
grew even faster across the South. In Arkansas and Oklahoma, the portion of unmarried
couples doubled, from 2 percent to 4 percent.
"You are talking about states that have a lot of organized
religion and a lot of Southern Baptists," said Thomas Coleman, executive director of
the American Association for Single People. "In those states, the social stigma is
considerable. You are considered - now people joke about this - 'living in sin."'
Despite the rapid growth in nontraditional arrangements, Americans
mainly live together as husbands and wives.
Nationally, 52 percent of homes are headed by married couples, down
from 55 percent in 1990. Unmarried-couple homes made up 5 percent of all households in
2000, compared with 3 percent in 1990.
Groups like AASP hope the trend draw more attention to the financial
penalties of living together outside of marriage, such as the lack of employee benefits
and inheritance tax exemptions for unmarried, live-in partners.
The 2000 census so far has released information on relationships for
21 states and the District of Columbia. Reports for more states will be made public over
the next month.
Unmarried partners in the Bible Belt show some apprehension about
the arrangement due to the "strong Christian background" of residents and the
wide influence churches have over congregations, said Dr. Stewart Beasley, a family
therapist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma.
In many instances, the biggest increases in unmarried couples came
in states with some of the highest divorce rates in the country. In both Oklahoma and
Arkansas, where the percentage of unmarried couples doubled, federal figures from 1998
show there were six divorces for every 1,000 people. The national average then was 4.2 per
Some couples are choosing to test their relationships by living
together before getting married, Beasley said. Others, fearful of the marriage penalty on
federal income tax, simply see it as a financial issue.
Scaling back the marriage penalty tax and other laws that seem to
penalize marriage will help "people see that marriage is the best choice," said
Heather Cirmo, spokeswoman with the Family Research Council in Washington.
Friday, May 18, 2001
Census reports rise in single-father
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that more fathers are going solo in
raising kids. It's a change that single fathers say shows greater acceptance by American
families and courts that sometimes the best place for children is with dad.
Thomas Coleman, executive director of the American Association for Single People,
attributed the rise in single dads to a variety of reasons, including more judges awarding
custody to fathers in divorce cases and more women choosing their jobs over family life.
Single fathers say the numbers help tear down a long-standing conception that single
fathers tend to abandon their kids, or at least not take as good care of them as single
moms, said Vince Regan, an Internet consultant from Grand Rapids, Mich., who is raising
five kids on his own.
``In time, it goes a long way to helping society think that single fathers do help their
kids and want to be part of their lives,'' he said.
The Census Bureau counts single fathers in a category that could allow other adults, such
as the child's grandparents, to be present, but bureau analysts said research shows that
most of the men in the category are raising a child alone.
The bureau released basic figures for 21 states and the District of Columbia this week on
topics ranging from age to home ownership. Other states are scheduled to be released later
According to 2000 census data being released Friday, some of the biggest increase in
single-father households occurred in southern and western states: up 126 percent in
Nevada, and 74 percent in Delaware.
The 2000 census found:
--In 2.2 million households, fathers raise their children without a mother. That's about
one household in forty-five.
--The number of single-father households rose 62 percent in 10 years.
--The portion of the country's total 105.5 million households that were headed by single
fathers with children living there doubled in a decade, to 2 percent.
Nation's capital remains a city of
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that Washington, D.C. has become
the city for young single professionals. The new census data show that in the last
decade, Washington has remained a city of singles. In fact, while its population fell by
nearly 35,000, the number of one-person households climbed by more than 5,100.
The census reports that 43 percent of the district's 572,000 residents live alone. In
nearby Virginia, households headed by single adults increased to 47 percent of the state
total, up from 43 percent in 1990.
``A lot of the people who used to have roommates don't need them anymore for economic
reasons,'' said Philip Dearborn, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution who cited
the region's economic affluence as one reason for the increase.
``Cities actually serve as marriage markets, they're attractive places for young singles
to be,'' said Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economist who conducts research for Brookings.
While the 61-square-mile city is known for cultural attractions, including the Smithsonian
Institution's museums, the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center, it is also
struggling to modernize more than 140 public schools built between 30 and 60 years ago.
``The most important thing that the district can do to attract middle income people is to
improve school quality,'' said Glaeser, adding that vouchers for private or parochial
schools could help.
The census figures being released Friday also show that 18 percent of the 60,987
households with children are headed by single parents. They include some of the city's
most indigent residents.
But there are also the single young professionals who hold one of the 627,000 jobs in the
district. The census data indicated that there were 14,886 people living in the district
with unmarried partners, including the population most likely to flee to the suburbs as
their children approach school age.
To counter that trend, the city began a massive redevelopment effort in 1999, shortly
after the election of Mayor Anthony A. Williams.
``When you're talking about keeping families here and attracting families, the schools are
really a foundation,'' said Andrew Altman, the district's director of planning.
Forbes rates places best suited for
A story published by Forbes reports that it's publication has put together their
first annual guide for the best places for the single life. Factors that
were looked at were the population of single people, the nightlife of the city,
job growth and cost of living. After tallying up all the figures and throwing in their
own subjective factor they came out with Washington, D.C.-Baltimore
metroplex coming out on top, thanks to the area's multitude of museums, hordes of
recent grads and booming night life.
In coming up with the categories, Forbes used Woods & Poole Economics
to look at the projected job growth for all 40 places over the next five years as one
of the factors in determining the places for singles. ACCRA, an economic research
group at Arlington, Va., was also employed by Forbes to look at the areas based
on apartment rents, the cost of pizza, movie tickets and a six-pack of Heineken to
estimate how expensive or inexpensive it is to be single in all of these
spots. Forbes then added their own subjective factor to account for public
Best places to be single:
36.Salt Lake City
Thursday, May 17, 2001
Percentage of nuclear family dips in new
A story released today by the Digital Missourian reports that
according to the recently released Census 2000, the traditional nuclear family is
increasingly losing ground to other household arrangements.
Although Boone Countys population increased 20.5
percent during the past decade, the percentage of married-couple households decreased from
50 percent of total households in 1990 to 46 percent in 2000. At the same time, the
percentage of married-couple households with children decreased from 24 percent to 21
Unmarried America is growing, said Thomas Coleman
of the American Association For Single People, based in Glendale, Calif. The
diversity of our living arrangements are increasing.
Coleman said he hopes the latest numbers will help end
government policies and workplace practices that discriminate against unmarried people.
Married with children is not going to go out of style, he said. But
its going to be harder for legislators to ignore unmarried couples.
Coleman said that while the decreasing number of married-couple households might upset
some people, it offers solace for others.
The Census 2000 findings were welcomed on Wednesday by two single mothers interviewed at
Head Start Child Development on Park Avenue. Sandra Petty of Columbia, a 31-year-old
mother of three, said being a single parent can sometimes be difficult. But she said it
helps to know that the ranks of single parents are growing.
The toughest part is when the kids notice other kids fathers, she said.
I usually tell them, Im Mom and Im Dad.
Michelle Wagner also said she feels better knowing shes in a growing group. I
know how people have reacted to single parents, Wagner said. It makes me feel
better that there are more out there.
There are also more people living by themselves. Coleman attributes this increase to the
booming economy of the 1990s,which he said allowed those who want to live alone to do so.
It costs more to live alone, he said. So more people are living alone
because they can afford it.
Daryl Hobbs, director of the MU Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis, said the
numbers are the reflection of social changes that have occurred over the past half
Tuesday, May 15, 2001
U.S. census reports increase in
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that America's notion of
getting married and settling down has slowly changed in terms of the time frame or
perception. They're expanding their ideas of what it means to "settle down."
Between 1990 and 2000, the latest census finds that
there is a 71 percent increase in the number of unmarried partners living together.
It dwarfed the growth in married-couple households which only went up 7 percent from the
Data released by the Census Bureau Tuesday also showed
a large increase in other alternative arrangements: a 25 percent increase in the number of
women living with their own child but without a husband; and a 21 percent growth
increase in the number of people living alone.
Still, the figures should place new pressure on lawmakers to
deal with the issues of changing family structures, said Thomas F. Coleman, executive
director of the American Association of Single People. Those issues include expanding
employee benefits for domestic partners and recognizing same-sex partnerships.
"We're just saying let's even the playing field a
bit," Coleman said. "If we are doling out benefits fairly, let's dole them out
to single and unmarried people, and married people."
Later this year the Census Bureau will reveal more details,
such as how many unmarried couples were in same-sex relationships, or how many people
living alone were elderly widows.
Overall, there were 54.5 million married-couple families in
2000, or about 52 percent of the country's 105.5 million households, the census reported.
In 1990, there were 50.7 million married-couple homes, 55 percent of all households then.
By comparison, unmarried-partner homes number 5.5 million
now, or about 5 percent of all homes, up from the 3 percent reported a decade ago.
single outnumbers married couples with children
|A story published
today by the New Haven Register reports that the household relationships, age and gender
statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau today showed significant changes in the
makeup of American families over the last 10 years, including a continuation of the
50-year decline in married couples.
The report noted that only 51.7 percent of households contained both a husband and wife in
2000, down from 55 percent a decade ago and 78 percent in the 1950s. Also, people living
alone occupy 25.8 percent of American households, surpassing married couples with children
by more than 2 percent.
"It wont be long before the majority of the nations households are
unmarried," said Thomas F. Coleman, executive director of the American Association of
Single People. "Unmarried Americans are here to stay."
The changes in American households, though, were the most striking aspects of the
"Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for the United States: 2000."
Some experts say the decreases in married households arent just a result of more
divorces. Some couples are waiting to get married until later in life, even after they
have children. Others, including homosexuals, are choosing to forgo the ritual altogether.
Families maintained by women with no husband present increased three times as quickly as
married couple families in the last decade, making up 7.2 percent of all households.
Marc St. Camille, co-author of "Its Okay to be Single," said he hopes
people are no longer rushing into marriage just because theyre lonely. As a massage
therapist in New York City, St. Camille listened for years to clients stuck in deplorable
relationships because they couldnt bear to live alone.
"People shouldnt be married unless its a really great thing for them and
all the elements are in place," he said. "We never say its better to be
single, but you dont have to be miserable if you live alone."
The statistics were
disheartening for the Family Research Council, a lobbying group that promotes traditional
family values and opposes single people living together before marriage. Bridget Maher,
the councils marriage and family policy analyst, suspects that lower marriage rates
lead to many of the countrys problems including poverty, juvenile delinquency and
But Nancy Wise, who wrote "Are You Gonna Be In There All Night? 50 Great Reasons to
Love Living Alone" under the pen name Bobby Solo, says people need to look no further
than "Dear Abby" to see that marriage doesnt work for everyone.
"These are people who felt they had to find a mate regardless of what kind of mate it
was," she said. "A lot of people make bad decisions because they feel they
shouldnt live alone."
St. Camille and Wise
are both members of AASP