Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Leaving It To Beaver: Children Under 18 Who Live in Two Parent Families With Only One Working Parent

Demo Memo, a great website for interesting looks at Census data, recently posted a piece about children under the age of 15 that live in a "Leave It to Beaver" world - one where the mom stays at home while the dad works a job supporting the household.

While the exact same data isn't readily available on a county basis, there is some comparable information that gives us an idea of how many families experience a similar 1950's lifestyle. Admittedly the data isn't perfect. UPDATE: ACTUALLY THERE IS PRETTY CLOSE DATA IN THE ACS TO THE DATA ACCESSED BY DEMO MEMO. TABLE B23008 SHOWS THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN TWO PARENT FAMILIES BASED ON WHETHER BOTH PARENTS WORK, THE FATHER WORKS, OR THE MOTHER WORKS. IT DEALS WITH CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 (VERSUS 15 IN DEMO MEMO).  First off, it is counting families, not children (as was done in the Demo Memo piece). It also is measuring the number of dual parent working, not the number of "moms" staying home (dads obviously sometimes stay home as well. Lastly, it doesn't necessarily mean that the parent staying home is doing so out of a desire to rear the kids - they may be looking for work or be disabled, etc.

So all in all it is a tenuous comparison. But regardless it does provide some insight into the number of families with children under the age of 18 where at least one parent is home - or the converse, the number of families where both parents work !