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Smock and Schwartz review the past decade of demographic trends and research on families in the United States

January 07, 2020

Pamela Smock, PSC Research Professor, and Christine R. Schwartz, UW-Madison Professor of Sociology, review demographic trends and research on families in the United States, with a special focus on the past decade. In this Journal of Marriage and Family paper, they consider the following several topics: (a) marriage and remarriage, (b) divorce, (c) cohabitation, (d) fertility, (e) same-gender unions, (f) immigrant families, and (g) children’s living arrangements. Throughout, the authors review both overall trends and patterns as well as those by social class and race-ethnicity. The authors discuss major strands of recent research, emphasizing emerging themes and promising directions. They close with a summary of central patterns and trends and conclude that recent trends are not as uniform as they tended to be in earlier decades, making the description of family change increasingly complex.Smock, Pamela, and Christine R. Schwartz. 2020. “The Demography of Families: A Review of Patterns and Change.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 82(1): 9-34.