South Carolina Cultural Indicators 2019: Family

Marital Status

Married Couples as a Percent of All Households

In 1960, the percentage of married couple families as a percent of all households in South Carolina (86%) was nearly identical to that of the national average (87.4%). Since then, these percentages have declined by 16% nationally and by 19.4% for South Carolina. As of 2016, 73.2% of U.S. families and 71.2% of South Carolina families are headed by a married couple where both spouses are present.[50]

As the percentage of married couple families has declined, families headed by a single adult have filled the gap. Since 1960, the percentage of female-headed households in both the U.S. and South Carolina increased by 93% and 130%, respectively, while the percentage of households headed by a single male increased 163% nationally and 230% in South Carolina.[51] 


 

References

[50] American Fact Finder, U.S. Census Bureau, “Family Type by Presence and Age of Own Children Under 18 Years: Families, 2016 Table B11003,” and earlier editions. Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_1YR_B11003&prodType=table. Access verified Oct. 12, 2018.  Older data from U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012 (131st edition), “Table 59: Households, Families, Subfamilies, and Married Couples,” and earlier editions. Washington, DC, Feb. 9, 2018. Available at www2.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed/tables/12s0059.xls?#. Access verified Oct. 12, 2018. 

[51] Ibid.

Marriage Rates

Marriage Rates in South Carolina and the United States: 1960-2016

In 2016, there were approximately 33,327 marriages in South Carolina, giving the state a marriage rate of about 6.6 marriages per 1,000 population. Compared to the rest of the nation, South Carolina’s marriage rate was 4% less than the national average (6.9 per 1,000 population). This is the first time in at least 65 years in which South Carolina’s marriage rate has been below that of the national average.[52] 

At its apex in 1972 (22.3), South Carolina’s marriage rate was more than twice as high as the national average (10.9). Since then, both the number of marriages in South Carolina and the marriage rate have fallen 44% and 70%, respectively. At the same time, national statistics fell by 2% and 37%, respectively.[53]

In 2014—the most recent year detailed information is available—there were 1,986 persons under the age of 20 who married in South Carolina (5.8% of all marriages).[54] 


 

References

[52] Latest data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, “Marriage rates by State: 1990, 1995, and 1999-2016.” Available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage-divorce.htm. Access verified Oct. 14, 2018. Some state data from South Carolina

Department of Health and Environmental Control, Division of Biostatistics, South Carolina Vital and Morbidity Statistics 2016 (vol. 1), and earlier editions. Nov. 2015. Available at www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/docs/Health/docs/BiostatisticsPubs/VitalMorbidStat/VMS%202014.pdf. Access verified Oct. 14, 2018.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Ibid.

Divorce Rates

Divorce Rates in South Carolina and the United States: 1960-2016

In 2016, approximately 12,400 divorces were granted in South Carolina, the lowest number since 1978. Except for 1999, the state’s divorce rate has been below the national average for more than 60 years. In 2016, South Carolina’s divorce rate (2.5 divorces per 1,000 persons) was 22% below the national average.[55] 

Between 1964 and 1979, South Carolina’s divorce rate increased 337% from 1.02 divorces per 1,000 population to 4.45. It peaked again in 1990 at 4.6 before descending to the present rate of 2.5 in 2016.[56]

In 2014—the most recent year detailed information is available—the plurality of divorces (27%) occurred among couples who had been married between five and nine years, followed by those married between one and four years (23%). The most common legal ground for divorce was separation for at least one year (82%), followed by annulment (9%) and adultery (7%).[57] 


 

References

[55] Latest data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, “Divorce rates by State: 1990, 1995, and 1999-2016.” Available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/state_divorce_rates_90_95_99-16.pdf. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018. Some state data from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Division of Biostatistics, South Carolina Vital and Morbidity Statistics 2016 (vol. 1), and earlier editions. Nov. 2015. Available at www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/docs/Health/docs/BiostatisticsPubs/VitalMorbidStat/VMS%202014.pdf. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Ibid.

Children Affected by Divorce

Children Affected by Divorce: 1997-2014

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of divorce is its effect on the children involved. Since 1997, about 14,100 couples have divorced each year in South Carolina, splitting the homes of about 11,200 children annually.[58]

If none of these divorces had involved a second divorce (or more) for one of the parents, more than 201,000 children in South Carolina have been directly affected by divorce since 1997. This, of course, does not include all the children (and adults) who are indirectly affected.[59]


 

References

[58] Ibid.

[59] Ibid.

Births to Unwed Mothers

Percent of All Births

Since 1960, out-of-wedlock births as a percentage of all births in South Carolina have increased by about 258%. In 1960, only 12.9% of all births were out of wedlock, but by 2017, about 46% of all births were to unmarried mothers.[60]

In 1960, 2.3% of births to white women in South Carolina were out of wedlock. By 2017, that amount had increased to 33%, a rise of more than 1,300%.[61] The percent of births to unwed non-white women has leveled out after growing for more than 30 years. In 1960, 27% of all children born to non-white females were born out of wedlock, compared to 71% in 2017, a 160% increase. 

Since 1990, more than 665,000 children in South Carolina have been born into a home where their parents were not married.[62] Nationally, almost 40 million children have been born to unwed mothers since 1990.[63]


 

References

[60] Recent data from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Community Assessment Network (SCAN), “Births (1990-2017).” Available at http://scangis.dhec.sc.gov/scan/bdp/tables/birthtable.aspx. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018. Earlier data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Monthly Vital Statistics Reports, various years. Available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/mvsr.htm#vol31s. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.  

[61] Ibid.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Joyce A. Martin, Brady E. Hamilton, Michelle J.K. Osterman, Anne K. Driscoll, and Patrick Drake, “Births: Final Data for 2016, Supplemental Tables.” In National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol 67.1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, Jan. 31, 2018. Available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_01_tables.pdf. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

Abortion

Pregnancies Ending in Abortion, by Age Group and Year

In 2016, there was approximately one abortion for every 5.4 live births in South Carolina. Of the 10,576 abortions performed, 9% were to women ages 10-19, 61% were to women ages 20-29, and 30% were to women ages 30 to 44.[64]

In 2014—the most recent year national data are available—86% of the abortions performed in South Carolina were to unmarried women, the same as the national average.[65]

While the exact number of abortions performed in South Carolina prior to their legalization in 1973 is unknown, more than 306,000 abortions were performed between 1990 and 2017.[66] Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, about 60 million abortions have been performed in the United States.[67] 

In 2014, approximately 926,200 abortions were performed, down 12% from 1.06 million in 2011.[68] South Carolina’s abortion rate of 6.4 per 1,000 population of women ages 15-44 was the 12th lowest in the nation, and lower than the national average (14.6). South Carolina’s abortion rate was also lower than that of its neighboring states: Georgia (15.7) and North Carolina (15.1).[69]


 

References

[64] South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Community Assessment Network (SCAN), “Births (1990-2017).” Available at http://scangis.dhec.sc.gov/scan/bdp/tables/birthtable.aspx. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018. Earlier data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Monthly Vital Statistics Reports, various years. Available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/mvsr.htm#vol31s. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

[65] Ibid, and Jenna Jerman, Rachel K. Jones, and Tsuyoshi Onda, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes since 2008. Guttmacher Institute, May 2016. Available at www.guttmacher.org/report/characteristics-us-abortion-patients-2014. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

[66] South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Community Assessment Network (SCAN), “Births (1990-2017).” Available at http://scangis.dhec.sc.gov/scan/bdp/tables/birthtable.aspx. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

[67] National Right to Life Committee, “Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends.” Available at https://nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

[68] “Induced Abortion in the United States.” Guttmacher Institute, Jan. 2018. Available at www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

[69] “Data Center.” Guttmacher Institute. Available at https://data.guttmacher.org/states/table?dataset=data. Access verified Oct. 15, 2018.

Suicide

Suicides Per 100,000 Population, by Selected Groups

In 2016, 815 South Carolinians killed themselves, for a rate of 16.4 per 100,000 residents. Most of them were white males (538; 31.8 per 100,000).[70] 

From 1999 to 2016, the national suicide rate rose 29%. By comparison, South Carolina’s overall suicide rate rose 54%. During the same time frame, suicide rates for whites increased 57%, the rate for females increased 105%, the rate for males increased 46%, and the rate for blacks increased 36%.[71]

Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death for residents of South Carolina in 2016. However, for residents between 15-17, and 20-24, it was the second leading cause of death, and for 18-19-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds, it was the third leading cause of death. Only accidents (and homicide, for the 18-19 and 25-34 cohorts) were responsible for more deaths than suicide.[72]


 

References

[70] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov/cmf-icd10.html. Access verified Oct. 16, 2018.

[71] Ibid.

[72] South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Community Assessment Network (SCAN), “Deaths (1999-2016).” Available at http://scangis.dhec.sc.gov/scan/bdp/tables/death2table.aspx. Access verified Oct. 16, 2018.

Teen Pregnancies

Rate Per 1,000 15-19-Year-Old Females

Since 1988, the overall teen pregnancy rate in South Carolina—the number of pregnancies per 1,000 females age 10-19—has fallen by 70%. When examined by race, pregnancies among white and non-white teens have declined by 69% and 72%, respectively.[78] 

In 2016, the teen pregnancy rate among non-whites in South Carolina (36.07 per 1,000 females age 15-19) was almost 38% higher than that of whites (26.2). Since 1988, the pregnancy rate of non-white teens in South Carolina has been, on average, 56% higher than that of whites.

In 2016, about one in every 33 females age 15-19 became pregnant, and one in every 42 gave birth. When divided by race, about one in every 38 white females became pregnant, as compared to one in every 28 non-white females.[79] 

In 2016, 91% of all teen births were to unmarried women. Almost one in five pregnancies ended in abortion, with the larger percentage of abortions among females age 14-17.[80]


 

References

[78] South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Community Assessment Network (SCAN), “Births (1990-2017).” Oct. 7, 2018. Available at http://scangis.dhec.sc.gov/scan/bdp/tables/birthtable.aspx.  Access verified Oct. 18, 2018.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Ibid.

Adoptions

Adoptions in South Carolina and the US: 2000-2016

Between 2000 and 2016, there have been 7,735 adoptions in South Carolina, or about 455 per year. Nationwide, there have been almost 888,000 adoptions, or an average of about 52,200 per year. Since 2000, about 0.9% of all adoptions in the United States have taken place in South Carolina.[81]

While the number of total adoptions has remained relatively stable for both South Carolina and nationwide, the number of international adoptions has declined. Since 2000, the number of international adoptions in South Carolina fell from 173 to 83 in 2016, a drop of 52%. Likewise, the number of international adoptions nationwide fell from 18,857 to 4,714, a decline of 72%.[82] 

The decline in the number of international adoptions is not the result of a lack of interest in foreign children, but in the growing number of nations banning the practice. In recent years, China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and South Korea have either stopped or curtailed international adoptions of their own children.[83] 


 

References

[81] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, “Adoption Data 2016,” July 11, 2018, and earlier editions. Available at www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/adoption-data-2016. Access verified Oct. 18, 2018.

[82] U.S. Department of State, “Adoption Statistics.” Available at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/adopt_ref/adoption-statistics.html. Access verified Oct. 18,2018.

[83] Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell, “International adoptions have dropped 72 percent since 2005 – here’s why,” The Conversation, Mar. 1, 2018. Available at http://theconversation.com/international-adoptions-have-dropped-72-percent-since-2005-heres-why-91809. Access verified Oct. 18, 2018.