Jason DeParle's New York Times article "Two Classes in America, Divided by 'I Do'" highlights some of the changes for children and families in my lifetime:
"Four decades ago, households with children at the 90th percentile of incomes received five times as much as those at the 10th percentile, according to Bruce Western and Tracey Shollenberger of the Harvard sociology department. Now they have 10 times as much. The gaps have widened even more higher up the income scale."
"Forty years ago, the top and middle income thirds had virtually identical family patterns: more than 95 percent of households with children in either tier had two parents in the home. Since then the groups have diverged, according to Mr. Western and Ms. Shollenberger: 88 percent at the top have two parents, but just 71 percent do in the middle."
"Four decades ago, families in the top income fifth spent about four times as much as those at the bottom fifth on things like sports, music and private schools, according to research by Greg J. Duncan of the University of California, Irvine, and Richard J. Murnane of Harvard. Now affluent families spend seven times as much."