WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Experts say they're encouraged by U.S. Census statistics indicating more black children are living with two parents, the number rising to 40 percent in 2007.
The number of black children in two-parent households, which stood at 59 percent in 1970, had fallen as low as 35 percent in 2004, U.S. Census Bureau figures estimate. While social scientists say they're divided over what the statistical rebound means and are voicing skepticism about an increase so large, others say the shift is potentially significant, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
"It's a positive change," said Robert Sampson, chairman of Harvard's sociology department, adding, "It's been hidden."
Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, pointed out that before 2007 a child living with two unmarried parents was usually classified as living with either a mother or a father, rather than with two parents as is now the case.
"I think the news is that the Census Bureau estimates that about 3 percent of American children are living with two unmarried parents," he said. "Because of the increases in living-together relationships, this is probably a higher figure than a generation ago."