Single-father households, grandparents raising grandchildren and same-sex partners raising kids are among the fastest-growing types of households with children in Oklahoma.
The traditional, nuclear family unit of husband, wife and kids accounted for more than 21.4 percent of all Oklahoma households in 2010. That's down from 24.7 percent a decade ago.
The number of nuclear family households fell 5.9 percent in the past decade to 312,372, according to an analysis of census data by The Oklahoman.
Among other findings:
• Married couples with no children at home accounted for 28.1 percent of households in 2010, up 6 percent.
• More than 79,580 Oklahoma children were being raised by a grandparent in 2010.
• Unmarried partner households jumped by 63 percent in the past decade. They now make up 5.9 percent of all Oklahoma households, up from 3.9 percent of households in 2000.
• There were more than 9,800 same-sex households in 2010, an increase of 70 percent from 2000. Same-sex households make up a small part, 0.67 percent, of all households in the state.
“There's lots of evidence that we're seeing a growing diversity in the kinds of households and families in Oklahoma,” said David Blatt, director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute. “Overall, we're seeing less married couples with children families in the state and more children being raised by other family members and more straight couples living together outside of marriage.”
New details released
The new details released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau also show how many adopted children and stepchildren are in the state. There were more than 32,000 adopted children and 72,100 stepchildren living in Oklahoma households in 2010.
“You're seeing efforts to hold-on tight to the idea of the traditional family, but reality is proving otherwise,” Blatt said.
“You're almost seeing a split between one segment of the population that is having kids later in life and having fewer kids. Another segment is having kids earlier, like teen pregnancies or single mothers raising kids.
“Both are working against the traditional idea of couples getting married in their early-to-mid 20s and having kids in their 20s.”