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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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SO LONG BEAVER

So long, "Leave it to Beaver;" hello, "Will & Grace." The definition of the "American family" has broadened significantly during the past few decades. One of the most notice-able trends emerging from the 2000 census as the reduction in the proportion of married-couple households with children (traditional families) declining from 40 percent to 24 percent during the past 30 years.

The married majority is becoming a minority for many reasons including longer life spans, co-habitation, and delayed marriages. Only one in 10 U.S. households is a "Cleaver household"-a family consisting of a bread-winning dad and a stay-at-home mom. Following are some examples of non-traditional families (statistics: U.S. Census):

Single Parent Households headed by a female increased from 3 million in 1970 to 10 million in 2000; Single Parent Households headed by a male grew from 393,000 to 2 million.

Approximately one in three Americans is a step-parent, a step-child, or a step-sibling.

Multi-generational households include those with at least three generations living under one roof These households account for about four percent of all U.S households.

Young adults living with parents are increasing; over one-half of young (18-24) men and 43% of young women lived with their parents in 2000.

Gay and lesbian families numbered 0.6 million in 2000, a 314% increase from 1990.

Co-habitators (same sex couples, heterosexual couples, or roommates) comprised more than three million households in 2000.

Grandparents raising grandchildren are increasing; six percent (4.5 million) of all children in the U.S. under age 18 are growing up in grandparent-headed households.

One-person households increased by nine percentage points from 17 percent in 1970 to 26 percent in 2000.  -State Farm Insurance Report. 

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife..." -Genesis 2:24

Glad Tidings of Good Things
Volum 10, March 3, 2005, page 2