THURSDAY, APR 17, 2014

Social Explorer's Andrew Beveridge in the NY Times on the Rise of Big Families


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In a city known for being full of singletons and apartment-dwellers, bigger families are on the rise.

In the article "The Three-Seat Strollers: The Growing Three-Child Household in Manhattan," Hannah Seligson explores the trend, citing data and analysis from Social Explorer's Andrew Beveridge.

Bucking a national trend (the 2010 census found that America’s population growth is the lowest it has been since the Great Depression, with the average number of children a woman has hovering around two), a certain set of married, affluent New Yorkers are going for the third child, turning neighborhoods into veritable children’s playgrounds with arguably more amenities for the little ones than for their parents. Some of these neighborhoods — including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and the Upper East and West Sides — have seen a double-digit jump in the number of families with two or more children since 1990.

“The richer people in New York are now having more kids,” said Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College who has analyzed the data. Across all income groups of white non-Hispanics across the five boroughs, those earning from $200,000 to $399,000 have had the largest increase in those with three children: 21 percent in 2011, up from 15 percent in 2000, an increase of nearly half. Those white non-Hispanics earning $500,000 or more were a close second, with three-child families up 6 percentage points in 2011, an increase of two-thirds from 2000.

He added some commentary as well:

During other periods of history, people had more children so they could work in the fields and contribute financially to the family, Dr. Beveridge of Queens College said. “Now children don’t have a lot of utilitarian value anymore,” he said. “Kids are like status symbols, or a very expensive pet or hobby.” (He spoke partly in jest, as a father of one himself.)

Click here to read the full article for more on the boom in larger families and detail on their top neighborhoods in New York City. 

Related: compare different household types using the interactive tool developed for the New York Times

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