Ask an Expert: Statistics on Mormon families

Q: Where can I find current statistics on the demographics of LDS family structures? Specifically, I am wanting figures on percentages of LDS families that fit the heteronormative nuclear family model prescribed in LDS texts such as “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”  1995.

A: Tim Heaton, the leading expert on the demographics of Mormons, suggested several of his publications:

Additionally, he recommended an article from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism that is available online: Vital Statistics.

Ryan T. Cragun provided a couple of figures from the General Social Survey to illustrate the current statistics (well, relatively current statistics; in order to have sufficient cases he aggregated data from 1990-2012).  The first figure shows the marital status of Mormons.  Using the Mormons in the GSS from 1990-2012, 60% were married, 16% were never married, 2% were separated, 12% were divorced, and 10% were widowed.

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The second figure looks just at the married Mormons in the GSS and shows that 87% of those who are married have kids; 13% do not.

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Ryan also recommended his co-authored report with Rick Phillips: Mormons in the United States 1990-2008:  Socio-demographic Trends and Regional Differences and the Pew survey and report: Mormons in America – Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society.  While the Pew survey may have some sampling issues, the data on the family may be helpful.