National Center for Family and Marriage Research Family Profiles

Document Type



Stepfamilies are created when the formation of a new union involves at least one partner who has child(ren) from a prior relationship. Although most stepfamilies occur through remarriage, some stepfamilies are formed in first marriages due to nonmarital childbearing (FP-16-09). The proportion of children living in stepfamilies has been steady since the 1990s (FP-17-16; FP-19-25), at about 9%. About half of these children reside in married stepfamilies and half are in cohabiting stepfamilies (FP-19-25). Using the 2015-2019 cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth, this family profile examines the share of individuals entering a first marriage with at least one stepchild (regardless of that child’s living arrangements) among men and women who married within the five years preceding the survey. We also examine the share of first marriages resulting in the formation of a stepfamily by gender, education, race/ethnicity, and age at marriage.

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National Center for Family and Marriage Research