ERIC Number: ED144761
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Feb-7
Reference Count: 0
Recent Changes in the Demographic Structure of Urban and Rural Families. Working Paper No. 7706.
Brown, David L.
Despite pervasive and far-reaching changes in the institution of the family in this century, demographic data suggest not a breakdown of the American family; rather, significant change has occurred in its structure and function. Timing of family formation and childbearing, household size and living arrangements, marital stability (including racial differences), and labor force status of married women are sociodemographic indicators that describe changes both in rural and urban areas. Comparing profiles of family characteristics from 1950 to 1970 indicates that urban-rural differences in family structure persist. Rural people still marry earlier than urban counterparts, have more children, and live in larger households. Fewer rural women participate in the labor force, and fewer rural marriages end in divorce. However, changes affecting urban families also affect rural ones and the recent turnaround between population growth in urban and rural areas holds important implications. For urban and rural areas, marriage age has increased, current fertility and household size are down, divorce rate is up, and women's participation in the labor force has grown. In general, the proportion of life spent outside a family unit is growing, child care increasingly falls to third parties, and the husband-wife relationship is more egalitarian. Yet, most people eventually marry, and most children are raised in husband-wife families. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC. Economic Development Div.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Symposium on Child Development and Family Studies (2nd, Lafayette, Indiana, February 7, 1977)