Exploring Society By The Numbers

Changes in Families and Households: 1950-2000

Kofi Benefo, CUNY-Lehman


This module teaches students to think about household and family dynamics over time, and to use computer software to access and analyze census data and to produce and interpret simple statistics.

Learning Goals

  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Learning how to construct, read, and interpret bivariate tables displaying frequencies and percentages
  • Identifying population trends over time
  • Using census data and simple statistical analyses to trace and assess the magnitude
  • To examine changes in household types between 1950-2000.
  • Pace and timing of changes in families and households from 1950 to 2000 for the U.S. as a whole and by race.

Context for Use

This activity is used in a sociology class for undergraduate students. This activity explores topics of households and families in the United States.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 107kB Mar24 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 119kB Mar24 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses three customized data sets; two made from combining census information from 1950-2000 and one from combining census information from 1950-1990. It guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!


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References and Resources

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