The American family is at its worst state in the history of the country. The intelligent and informed readership of Off The Grid News likely did not need a Pew Research Center report to alert them to the nationwide decline of the family unit. While the revelation is far from shocking, the statistics relating to the crumbling of the family are fairly startling.
As Libertarian author Charles Murray’s controversial best-sellers have aptly noted, the cultural decline and societal norms in America are directly related to the state of the American family. The new Pew Research Center family study at least inadvertently supports Murray’s decades of research on the topic. The family represents not only the backbone of the nation, but the building blocks of the community.
Since the 1960s, the American family has been on a downward spiral, according to the statistics noted by both Pew and Murray. The Norman Rockwell depiction of bygone eras might have glossed over some problems of the time, but did accurately illustrate the level of priority the family unit held. When we wax nostalgic, imperfections of a given decade are sometimes cast aside. The Civil Rights movement and a host of other equally Constitution-minded changes improved our nation over the course of the 1950s and early 1960s, but when the family unit started to decline in the following years, so did our society as a whole.
The marriage rate in America has fallen to an all-time low, according to the Pew Research Center study. There are now approximately 6.8 marriages per every 1,000 people on average each year. Only about 51 percent of adults are presently married. In 1960, about 72 percent of adults in the United States were married. In 1950, a total of about 78 percent of American adults were married.
Charles Murray had this to say about the state of marriage in America:
“Starting in 1970, marriage took a nosedive that lasted for nearly twenty years. Among all whites ages 30-49, only 13 percent were not living with spouses as of 1970, Twenty years later, that proportion had more than doubled, to 27 percent — a change in a core social institution that has few precedents for magnitude and speed. From the founding until well into the twentieth century, it was unquestioned that children should be born only within marriage and that failure to maintain that state of affairs would produce catastrophic consequences for society.”
While the marriage rate has significantly declined, the birth rate has not. America now has the highest percentage of one-adult households in the entire world. More than half of all babies born to American women under the age of 30 are done so out of wedlock. Today, one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father. A total of 42 percent of single mothers in American are on food stamps.
As previously reported by Off The Grid News, there are now 100 million citizens on food stamps and other forms of taxpayer-funded assistance. There are currently only about 97 million full-time workers in the country. Full-time workers in low-paying positions often do not pay taxes but garner refunds, making the pool of available citizens to fund the entitlement programs quite shallow.
Charles Murray shared this astute observation about how providing for the family was once considered a duty of extreme importance:
“A man who is holding down a menial job and thereby supporting a wife and children is doing something authentically important with his life. He should take deep satisfaction from that and be praised by his community for doing so. If that same man lives under a system that says the children of the woman he sleeps with will be taken care of whether or not he contributes, then that status goes away. I am not describing a theoretical outcome, but American neighborhoods where once working at a menial job to provide for his family made a man proud and gave him status in his community, and where now it doesn’t. Taking the trouble out of life strips people in major ways in which human beings can look back on their lives and say, “I made a difference.”
Living in the most impoverished county in Ohio and having worked with youth and parents for more than a decade, I have witnessed the change in perspective Murray described. An entitlement mindset is overwhelming not just an entire generation of American parents, it is being handed down to their children and grandchildren.
The United States also holds yet another dubious world record—it has the highest divorce rate on the planet. The study also noted that more than one million public school students are homeless, also a first in the history in the United States. The teen pregnancy rate in America is twice as high as Canada, three times are large as France, and more than seven times as high as Japan. Yes, dear readers, the list of titles bestowed upon our beloved country also include the “Highest Teen Pregnancy Rate in the World” status.
One in every four American teenage girls have had at least one type of a sexually transmitted disease. A total of 47 percent of high school students in the United States have had sex, and more often than not, at an age far younger than we want to imagine.
The land of the free and the home of the brave has the highest rate of child abuse deaths around the globe. About three million child abuse reports are filed around the country each year. Approximately 20 percent of child sexual abuse victims are younger than eight years of age. According to the statistics cited in the study, approximately one in every four American girls will be sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday.
The fiscal and family trends which have been mounting in America, especially under the Obama administration, make an economic meltdown and civil unrest far more likely. The Pew study estimates that about 50 percent of all American children will be on food stamps at some point before they reach adulthood. The once most prosperous nation in the world has turned into a land mass filled with people who cannot support themselves and rely on the government to fund their very survival from the cradle to the grave. Young adults will have to grab quickly to keep the American dream from slipping out of their grasp entirely.