Recent findings from the Pew Research Center show how demographic forces are driving population changes and reshaping how we live.
- Fewer Americans are married. Only half of U.S. adults today are married, down from 70% in 1950. The increase in unmarried adults was greatest in those ages 50 and older—75% in the same time span—reflecting the rising divorce rate for the age cohort.
- More generations are living together. There are nearly 61 million multigenerational households in the U.S. as of 2014, which includes two or more adult generations or grandparents and grandchildren. Growing Asian and Hispanic populations, which are more likely to live in multigenerational households than whites, explain some of the rise.
- Women might never make up half the workforce. Women represented 46.8% of the U.S. labor force in 2015, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the share of women in the workforce will peak at 47.1% in 2025 before tapering off. The gender pay gap is closing, however, and is even narrower for young adults, with working women ages 25 to 34 making 90% of what their male counterparts made.
- Immigrants are driving workforce growth. Growth in the U.S. working-age population (ages 25 to 64) will be driven by immigrants and their U.S.-born children through 2035 because of a lack of U.S. born children with U.S. born parents. There would be 18 million fewer working-age adults in 2035 without immigrants.
- The share of middle-income households is falling. In 2010, 59% of American adults lived in middle-income households—those with disposable incomes that are two-thirds to double the national median disposable income—down from 62% in 1991. The decline of middle-income households in the U.S. was mirrored across Western Europe, but most Western European countries had a larger share of adults in middle-income households that the U.S.