How Many Households Are Like Yours?

This online survey stopped us at 11 children. Fewer than 1,000 in the United States have 11 children. To continue we were commanded, “Remove household members above.” Sort of morbid. Take this NYT Database Test and see where your family stands. There are some very interesting observations we found.

1. Large families took a dive in the 1960s.

According to this chart, families of 10 children dived around 1960. Families of 10 was much more likely back in the 1900s. Birth control was introduced in 1960, abortion on demand in 1973, and “unnatural” selection followed suit. By 1980, families of 10 children plateaued to what it is today: less than .01%.

Is this because of birth control? Choosing the childless life seems to have added to the cultural swing to smaller families. Check out the same chart for married-with-no-kids:

This, too, plateaued, though earlier in the 20th century. And at a much higher rate. Today they constitute 21.23% of all US marriages. I have to think, is a childless life really that appealing? While sterility might certainly account for some of this number, I doubt 1/5 of married couples are sterile. A lot of married couples are choosing the childless life.

2. Money has nothing to do with it.

A common myth out there — a myth couples often use to avoid the blessing of children — is that children are not affordable. We do a lot of speaking and writing about bucking this idea. Our CD on frugality is a must-own, especially if you are struggling with finances (see Cheaper by the Dozen).

Notice the next chart. This is the income of couples with no kids:

Now to the parents of 10 children. What a difference!

Check that out! Interesting. Roughly 34-40% of families with 10 children make less than $30k in their house, while parents with no kids at all are making $75k-$150k. No wonder so many childless couples snicker at families with young children in restaurants. They can afford to go out to eat!

This blows a stereotype. The fallacy is that large families are not sustainable, that Americans should avoid children based on affordability. We’ve rejected that myth long ago, and I believe our lives are “richer” because of it. I bet the 1,147 families with 10 children in America feel the same.

3. It’s not just children; it’s love in general.

The chart includes the ability to remove the children altogether and study the dynamics of never married, no children households. Seventeen million adult women are unmarried, not living with anyone, with no children at all. This is 15% of households. Males aren’t quite as high in numbers, but still at a significant 12% of households.

It would be easy to write this off as just the 18-21 year olds who haven’t yet found that “someone.” But check out how this number changed through the 20th century. These are single, not married, no children women:

The male chart is much the same. Conclusion: men and women are choosing not to marry. They are choosing life without a life-long, loving companion. Divorce may be an indicator in this, but does that invalidate the curve in this chart? It shows the tendency to go alone won out, that matrimony proved undesirable, that love (at least in marriage) isn’t all that important. And this tendency was influenced significantly in the 1960s.


Where do you stand? Check out the online database. Would love to hear your thoughts below.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=799259836 Amy Woolley Pederson

    I was also told to “remove household members”.  That reminds me of a conversation I had with a close friend years ago when we only had 5 children.  She told me that she was going to only have 2 kids and that I was slightly crazy for having 5 and should have kept that number at 2.  I asked her which of my three kids she would get rid of.  Being such a close friend, having spent a significant amount of time with our family, she realized that she couldn’t possibly do that.  Each child was unique, different and special and contributed to our family. 

    Thanks for posting this.  What a sad testimony of what our world has become.

  • Sabrina Scheerer

    Well I did 3 kids (went ahead and included the one on the way). So we aren’t quite as “different” but our family size still peeked in the 60s and has dropped off since then. I was kinda surprised by that. Only 2.8% are “like us” now. Its definitely an interesting tool.

  • Celee

    We came in at .05%.  I was surprised only roughly 20% of households are headed by a married couple.  I thought it would be more like half.  Interesting.  Thanks for the link.


  • Blessed5x

    Married couple with 5 kids here… only 0.18% of all households are our size… how sad… Love every single one of my children immensely & could NOT imagine life without any of them! WE ARE TRUELY BLESSED!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000410688371 Alice Talley

    Married couple, 7 children under 18 = 0.02%.  Very interesting.  Also got told the highest majority of households like mine were Hispanic, which seems a little racist to me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=727780392 Sonya Lillis

    when i saw the page i put in me, my husband and our 5 children and the % was so low. i continued adding kids just to see what would happen and was in a way horrified when it said “remove family members above” because it speaks so loudly of the attitudes of this day-and-age.

    it also greatly saddends me to see that married couples are falling fast, with so many choosing “alternative” or  single childless lifestyles….

    in the Bible a childless life was a sign of a curse, a tragedy…yet today it is encouraged and embraced.

    Truly, having children is the greatest thing we’ve ever done. after all, what is life if it’s poured into stuff? there will be nothing left for those who chase after material things, but those who leave a legacy of godly children on the other hand will have a full life, even unto death. those children are eternal souls, and therefore those who have children and raise them up in the way of the Lord Jesus shall have their legacy forever. their treasure, their blessings from God for ever and ever.

    • Roddma

      Jesus was single and childless.  As I say there are many reasons some choose to be single and childless like health issues and mental problems. Not all are marriage material. Different strokes for different folks. Besides in the New Testament Paul praises the single life.

  • heather

    thanks for sharing.  so sad.  right now we have 3 under 18 and it is less than 3%.  when I added the foster child we hope to have soon it drops to less than .01%.  when i tried to add my husbands parents, who because of a job loss may be moving in with us, it said to remove family members.  just show the bad attitudes in society.

  • Mary-Anne

    We are in Australia and also get the “you must be crazy” comments and we only have 6 six children (aged 14 to 4). We have just sold our 4 bedroom 2 loungeroom house to become debt free and are now renting from my husband’s parents in the little old farm house that my husband grew up in. It has 2 bedrooms and a sleep out, we have a caravan that the eldest was using as a bedroom but he has moved back into the kids bedroom because he doesn’t like being away from everyone. We got married when our eldest was 9 months old (and yes he is my husbands child as well) we could of rushed the wedding but the marriage wasn’t about the children that was about our love for each other and we already had the date planned when we found out we were having a baby. Every one of my children has thier own personality and are an integral part of our family, I definately could not imagine life without any one of them. It sometimes does annoy me when people feel they have the right to comment on my family size with negative connotations but then I look at my gorgeous little family and remember all that I have to be grateful for and feel sorry for them that haven’t been as blessed as me, with both a large loving family or the ability to be less judgemental of those around me :)

    • Roddma

      Its just as annoying for childless by choice or not  people to get negative comments  and nosy questions bout their situation like you ‘better get busy’ or “why don’t have children?” or”When will you tell us the good news?’ Either way why are people so nosy about your family size or lack there of? Some can’t have any more kids because of health issues  or maybe they got mental issues.

  • MrsJMHancock

    What a sad sad commentary. There is a revival going on for those who will listen… but too many have their ears plugged with mainstream media to take the time to realize they will be literally left in the dust.

  • Katie

    My husband told me about this.  We only have 4 kids and it says less than 1% of all households are like ours.  Wow.  That is not even that big of a family!  It doesn’t feel that big to me!  I still can not believe when I meet the neighbors and their house is bigger than ours (which, honestly our house is too big for us, there are rooms we don’t even use!) and they are a couple with no kids or 1 kid.  So wait, they have the money and space for kids but they will keep all that and not have the kids?  They don’t know what they’re missing!!

  • sandra

    Ours came in at .86%,for a married couple w/ 2 kids over 18 living at heome. (ours are in school).I would have thought it would have been higher than that.
    What would be the most common type of  household nowadays?

  • Jennifer Mull

    We have two children over the age of 18 still living at home (at least for the summer) and six children under the age of 18, so we fit the 0.01%, and apparently fit in better with the 1900’s crowd. For ours… the income said families like ours tended to make between $75,000 and $150,000….. I wish… my husband who was trained and worked as an architect was laid off a year and a half ago… has had to take all kinds of jobs to keep us afloat, and we fit better with the less than $30,000 crowd…. but you know what? God provides… and I don’t think statistics know how to deal with that!!! LOL!

  • Nancyjoya

    What if people simply do not have children due to a history of genetic disorders?  How do you know these people would not like more children?  I would like to know to know what you think of this decision.

    • Olivetreehomeschool

      I would lik to commnt on this because my son has a terminal genetic condiion.  WE took a leap and pt faith in our Lord none of my 7 other children have this condition.  We lay our treasure in heaven not n earth and trust the Lord in everything.

      • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

        People like you we want to hi-five, encourage, and share in the joy of children. Well said, OliveTree!

    • Nancyjoya

      Reading the comments to my “comment” makes me wary of commenting again.  I enjoyed your blog but feel the website is not open to other commentary.  Everyone who comments is obviously pro family, which is great, but uncomfortable for me.  I did not have another child due to the reasons listed in my post.  I wish your family the best…they are beautiful.

    • Nancyjoya

      Reading the comments to my “comment” makes me wary of commenting again.  I enjoyed your blog but feel the website is not open to other commentary.  Everyone who comments is obviously pro family, which is great, but uncomfortable for me.  I did not have another child due to the reasons listed in my post.  I wish your family the best…they are beautiful.

  • Cherylgoin

    I have 9 kids and it said there were about 3100 households like mine. It said the average income for a family like mine is $30,000, but that seemed kind of low to me. I wonder if the numbers are reflecting a lot of Amish or other farming families.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      I bet you you’re right about the Amish. Suburbanites (larger wage earners) aren’t making <$30k. The Amish and agricultural families are having more children.

  • Margaret

    We are at 2.89% or thereabouts–a 2 parent household with 3 kids.

    How weird that we are in a severe minority. :/  Adding just one more child (we’re more than willing!) would put us below .01% .  Oddly, we are neither Hispanic nor upper middle class, which is what the survey says most families like ours are.  My parents are even more in a minority.  At any point in the last several years, they’ve had one or more adult children in their home, with one or more grandchildren.

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  • http://www.clarkchatter.blogspot.com Ginger

    Less than .01% of US families are like ours. 8 kids and 1 on the way. I wasn’t surprised to see the huge decline in marriages and in birth rates beginning in the 60s – women’s lib and birth control pill. Ugh!

  • Dsgro

    Hi Chris  Enjoyed my visit to your site.  My wife, Angela, and I have 13 children.  The oldest is 20 yrs old.  They are all our, no adopted, but we are thinking of adopting too!  I tried to see how many families have 13 children but couldn’t even find a shred of any info on this.  I guess the stats are very small.  A large family is such a big blessing! http://www.goministries.info

  • Tanya

    Re the income levels, I honestly wonder if lots of kids contributes to the lower income, i.e., it’s easier to make that $75,000+ when you have two people able to keep FT jobs and put everything they have into their careers.  NO, I don’t wish that was us (we have 4 kids so far), but that honestly seems to be the case in the circle I meet with.  And that is their choice. 

    I’m happy with our choice, whether the lower income is a product of our kids or not.  I’m still blessed, just not monetarily.  😉 

  • Mlindbergfl

    There is no way that this can be an accurate site.  The population is no longer mostly white, yet the only statistics I could find showed that two thirds of the type of families were white….  Where is all the rest of society?  Is this nationwide figures or only new york? 

  • Barb

    Well it is true that some people limit their family size due to finances- but that does not mean that they think they are not “affordable”. Yes you can have 10 children and have an income under 30k/year but this income will not provide the life I want to give to my kids- although I might be able to feed 10 children but what about education for ALL children, possible holidays or hobbies they really want to have? What about healthcare? I don’t think I can pay for healthcare for 10 children even if I make more than 30k or even 50k or more. I do NOT think its ok to be on Medicaid all the time due to the fact that my family is too big that I can pay for healthcare.
    I think a family of under 10 kids is just big enough and a win/win situation for everybody where kids can have enough of their own space in the home and I can give my kids the individual attention they deserve.

  • Tony Bearden

    Just stumbled on to this after watching the Duggars show with my family and wondering how many families have double digit children. We have 10 with the oldest being 21, youngest 15 mos. I never realized we were in that exclusive of a club. As far as the monetary issue, the Lord has blessed me with income increases over the year with every child my wife and I have had. No amount of money could ever come close to the blessing my children have been.

  • ZandarKoad

    Thanks for these stats. It’s fun to know we are already in the top 1% of the 1% of families in the US with just 8 children. I’ve never seen the Duggars show, but I like talking with other large families.