(VOA News) – The average American family used to look very much like the fictional Cleaver family in the classic television show Leave It to Beaver, with two married parents and the father as the breadwinner. But that family arrangement is no longer the norm in the United States.
“There is no average American family and that’s what’s exciting and interesting about families today,” said University of Maryland sociology Professor Philip N. Cohen. “Diversity is the new normal.”
Today, one-third of American children still live in households with two married parents, but that’s a significant decline from 1960, when two-thirds of U.S. children lived in married couple households. However, 50 years ago, only one parent, the father, usually worked outside the home. Today, the largest segment of American families consists of two married parents who both work.