Children living with biological parents
US Census Bureau News
US Department of Commerce * Washington, DC 20233
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20, 2008
- Robert Bernstein
- Public Information Office
- 301-763-3030/763-3762 (fax)
- 301-457-1037 (TDD)
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Majority of Children Live With Two Biological Parents
Nearly 45 million (61 percent) of the nation's 73 million
children younger than 18 lived with their biological mother and
father in 2004 regardless of the parents' marital status,
according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.
Of these children, 42.7 million lived with both parents who
were married to each other. Another 4.1 million lived with a
biological mother and stepfather, according to
Arrangements of Children: 2004 [PDF]. An additional
19.3 million children lived with one parent, with the majority
of those (88 percent) residing with their mother.
There were 12.2 million children (representing 17 percent of
all children) who lived with a stepparent, stepsibling and/or
Among children in these "blended" families, 71 percent lived
with at least a half sibling, 46 percent with a stepparent and
10 percent with a stepsibling.
- Overall, 94 percent of children lived
with at least one biological parent, while 8 percent lived
with at least one stepparent and 2 percent lived with at
least one adoptive parent.
- As for parents, 30.2 million men lived
with at least one of their children younger than 18,
compared with 37.8 million women. A higher percentage of the
mothers (94 percent) lived with their biological children
than the fathers (85 percent).
- Most children lived with at least one
sibling (79 percent). The majority (64 percent) lived with
one or two siblings, while 5 percent lived with four or more
siblings. Twelve percent of children younger than 18 lived
with a half sibling.
- Overall, 13.4 million children lived
in extended families containing someone other than their
parent or sibling. Of these, about 6.5 million lived with at
least one grandparent, with 1.6 million of these children
having no parent present.
- Approximately 2.2 million children
were living with a mother who married, divorced or was
widowed in the year prior to the survey date.
- Of the 18.7 million children living
with their unmarried biological mothers, 18 percent had
mothers who were living with unmarried partners. In
comparison, of the 4.2 million children living with their
unmarried biological fathers, 53 percent were living with
fathers who were living with an unmarried partner. Overall,
5 percent of children younger than 18 lived with a
These data were collected from June 2004 through
September 2004 in the Survey of Income and Program
Participation. As in all surveys, these data are subject to
sampling and nonsampling error. For further information on the
source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including
standard errors and confidence intervals, go to