Nuclear families have been on the decline since the 1960s, and while that’s hard to believe for anyone who’s ever waited in line for ‘It’s A Small World,’ the research backs it up. Sadly, your wait to see the children of the world sing that horribly catchy song isn’t getting any shorter, the families in front of you are just being replaced with all different types that aren’t as radioactive. If you’re not sure what those are, your favorite statistics geek, Nathan Yau of Flowing Data, has put it into perspective with his latest infographic.
Crunching numbers obtained from the American Community Survey from 2010 to 2014, Yau looked at 10,276 different households to determine the 50 most common types, which accounted for about 94 percent of families. He then ordered all 50 into that there graphic from top to bottom and left to right. Each type is categorized as one-person, nuclear, extended (non-nuclear with relatives), or composite (non-nuclear with anyone else), and distinguished with different colors, lines, and circles. Larger circles symbolize adults, while smaller circles represent children or grandchildren. Dark green circles show the family nucleus (not your favorite nickname but still beats Family Circus), light green circles are family members, and gray circles are for non-relatives including friends and partners. Connecting lines represent marriage and children.
A majority of these could, in fact, be pronounced “Nuke-you-lar” — Yau’s findings suggest that nuclear families account for 54 percent of all households, compared to 46 percent the PEW Research Center calculated from the same survey in 2013. That might mean that the nuclear family is making a comeback, but the kids are just calling it vintage. More likely, the definition of the nuclear family is changing with the times and becoming more inclusive as more same-sex couples marry and have children. Still, the most common type of household is just a dude by themselves, and judging from your experience, they’re sure as hell not going to stay that way.
[H/T] Flowing Data