Large Families Becoming an Oddity in America

Lillie M. Thomas | December 14, 2015

Large Families Becoming an Oddity in America

Comedian Jim Gaffigan recently gave a hilarious interview on traveling with his five kids. In it, he compared travelling with his children to “transferring serial killers from prison to prison… you have to be constantly aware,” and acknowledged that he and his wife “didn’t get a lot of sleep on the bus tour, but we don’t get a lot of sleep at home anyway.”

Gaffigan’s commentary on the highs and lows of a family vacation wasn’t funny because people can relate; it was funny because most people can’t relate anymore. Gaffigan’s large family is an oddity, one seen as a holdover from a bygone age before people knew better than to have so many kids.

The number of large households is declining, and has been for some time. Pew Research Center published a report earlier this year showing the decline of the four- and three-child family and the rise of the two- and one-child family since the 1970s:

But it isn’t just that the number of children is declining; it’s that the ideal number of children is declining. The Pew study found that almost half of all Americans think that two is the right number of children to have:

With statistics like those above, families like Gaffigan’s are only going to become rarer and rarer. Is that a good thing? Or, do you think it's unfortunate to see the disappearance of the large family in America?