Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: American family size steadily shrinking

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr now is studying in hopes of becoming an ayatollah.

Associated Press (2006)

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr now is studying in hopes of becoming an ayatollah.

Family size steadily shrinking

Population question here. How big is the average family in the United States these days, compared with previous years?

According to data from the Census Bureau, the average number of people per household in this country is now less than half what it was almost 160 years ago.

In 1850, the average American household numbered 5.55. It has steadily declined to 5.04 by 1880, 4.60 in 1900, 4.01 in 1930, 3.68 in 1940, 3.38 in 1950, 3.29 in 1960, 3.11 in 1970, 2.75 in 1980, 2.63 in 1990 to 2.59 in 2000.

Why the steady change? Experts say the slowdown in the birth rate, increased wealth, fewer families with three generations under one roof, an increased desire for individuality and the improvement of transportation have been major factors in spreading Americans out.

Radical Shiite cleric still around

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr used to be in the news a lot because of his powerful and brutal Mahdi Army militia. What is Sadr doing now? Is he no longer a threat to U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq, or Sunni civilians?

Muqtada al-Sadr left Iraq in early 2007 and moved to the Iranian holy city of Qom, where he began theological studies to improve his religious credentials in the Iraqi Shiite community. Aides say his goal is to become an ayatollah like his late father, a rank that would place him in a powerful position in cleric-dominated Shiite politics.

Clearly, he also feared for his safety during one of the most violent periods of the Iraq war.

When he went to Iran, he kept control over his Mahdi Army militia. But after it suffered military setbacks in fighting with U.S. and Iraqi troops, he effectively disbanded the force, transforming it into a group focused on social, religious and community work.

But al-Sadr has not given up his political ambitions. On May 1 he paid a surprise visit to Turkey, where he met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He asked Turkey to play a greater role in Middle East affairs. The visit was seen as an attempt by al-Sadr to reach out to Sunni Muslim groups, his sworn enemies during the sectarian fighting of 2006 and 2007, and to play a role in regional politics.

Andrew Stevens shifts focus

What happened to Andrew Stevens (The Fury, etc.)? He seemed very promising back in "the day."

Stevens, 54, the son of actor Stella Stevens and ex-husband of actor Kate Jackson, acts occasionally but has focused in recent years on his production company, Andrew Stevens Entertainment, which has produced more than 170 films, including Missionary Man, with Dolph Lundgren, and Walking Tall: Lone Justice, with Kevin Sorbo. You can find out more www.astevensent.com.

Q&A: American family size steadily shrinking 06/14/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  2. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Study: Pollution kills 9 million a year, costs $4.6 trillion

    World

    NEW DELHI — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

    New Delhi’s landmark India Gate, a war memorial, is engulfed in morning smog on Friday.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.