Meet the Needs of Evolving Member Households

CUs should gear their strategies and products toward population and cultural shifts.

March 21, 2013

A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals interesting trends in the makeup of American households.

For example:

These statistics have far-reaching implications for credit union membership growth and marketing strategies, experts suggest.

And that’s why it’s critical to understand how your membership is changing—not just in terms of demographics but also according to household makeup.

Questions to consider:

A large proportion of older householders also live alone. In 2012, more than half of householders 75 and older did so, compared with about 25% of householders under age 30, according to “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012.”

Other Census Bureau report highlights:

►The number of couples living together without being married has more than doubled since the 1990s, from 2.9 million in 1996 to 7.8 million in 2012. In 2012, 40% of unmarried partners had children under age 18.

►The prevalence of married households continues to decline, from 71% in 1970 to 49% in 2012.

►In 2012, 27% of households have only one person, up from 17% in 1970. On average, American households have 2.55 people.

►The median age at first marriage in 2012 was 28.6 for men and 26.6 for women.

►The share of all U.S. households headed by a white non-Hispanic adult fell to 69% in 2012, down from 75% in 2000.

►The share of households headed by 55- to 64-year-olds rose from 13% in 1990 to 19% in 2012. Meanwhile, the share headed by adults who were younger than 30 fell from 16% to 13%.

►The percentage of married couples with both husband and wife in the labor force declined from 56% in 2000 to 52% in 2012.

►Stay-at-home parents have become more common since the 1990s. Among married-couple families with children younger than age 15, the percentage with stay-at-home mothers grew from 20% to 24% between 1994 and 2012.

►Almost all stay-at-home parents (96%) are mothers. But between 1994 and 2012, the percentage of stay-at-home parents who are fathers increased from 1.6% to 3.6%, and their numbers more than doubled from 76,000 to 189,000.

►The percentage of children living with two parents, regardless of their marital status, differs by race and Hispanic origin. Of single-race Asian children, 85% currently live with two parents, compared with 77% of single-race white non-Hispanic children, 66% of Hispanic children, and 38% of single-race black children.

(Via Credit Union Directors Newsletter)