Here's What the Duggars Are Up to Now
The Duggar family first gained national attention in 2004 when they were featured on a one-hour documentary special called "14 Children and Pregnant Again!" that aired on Discovery Health Channel. The special showcased the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their growing family of children, at the time numbering 14 little ones. Following the success of the documentary special, TLC approached the family about creating a reality TV show, which eventually became "17 Kids and Counting," premiering in 2008. The show continued to air and the family's size grew, resulting in the name changing to "18 Kids and Counting" and later to "19 Kids and Counting."
The show followed the lives of the Duggar family as they navigated the challenges of raising a large family while also adhering to their conservative Christian beliefs. The show portrayed the family as a wholesome and devoutly religious clan, and it became a ratings hit for TLC. Over the years, the Duggar family became one of TLC's most popular and recognizable reality TV personalities, often appearing in specials and spin-off shows. However, the show's cancellation in 2015 due to Josh Duggar's scandal brought the family's public image under scrutiny and led to the eventual cancellation of "Counting On" in 2021.
You probably know all of the eldest Duggar's scandals, but what about the rest of the clan? What is the biggest family from TLC doing now? Here's what we know about the Duggars after retiring from reality TV.
"19 Kids and Counting": The End of an Era
So why was the hit TLC reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting" canceled in 2015? Josh Duggar, one of the Duggar family's children and the eldest of the clan, found himself at the center of a major controversy. Reports tell that he had molested several underage girls, including some of his sisters, when he was a teenager. The show's cancellation came shortly after the news of the scandal broke and sparked widespread outrage and controversy.
Following the cancellation of "19 Kids and Counting," TLC premiered a spin-off series called "Counting On," which focused on the lives of the older Duggar children as they navigated marriage, parenting, and other aspects of adult life. The show continued for several seasons, but it was eventually canceled in 2021 amid ongoing controversy surrounding the family — in particular, Josh Duggar.
Jim Bob & Michelle
After the end of their TLC reality shows, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have kept a relatively low profile. The couple has continued to maintain their online presence through their social media accounts, including Instagram and Facebook.In 2019, the couple launched a new website called "Duggar Family Official," which features blog posts, videos, and other content focused on their family and their conservative Christian beliefs.
Jim Bob has also continued to be involved in local politics in their home state of Arkansas. He served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002 and has been involved in various political campaigns and causes over the years.The couple has also remained active in their church but hasn't escaped the scrutiny of fans and tabloids alike. Many criticize the family for how they "handled" Josh's behavior (including sending him to do work at a church), which probably just made things worse!
If you thought things with Josh Duggar couldn't get any worse, you're wrong... In November 2019, news broke that Josh Duggar had been accused of possessing highly inappropriate images of children. He was arrested in April 2021 and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. In the wake of these new allegations, TLC announced that it had canceled "Counting On" and had no plans to work with the Duggar family in the future. Josh Duggar was released on bail — probably with help from his family — while awaiting trial on charges of possessing child pornography.
Following his arrest, Josh Duggar was ordered by a judge to remain away from minors, including his own children, except under supervision. He was also prohibited from leaving the Western District of Arkansas without permission from the court. Josh Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count. Fortunately, he was successfully convicted in 2021 and is serving a 12.5-year prison sentence.
But Josh isn't the only kid embroiled in controversy... Jana Duggar was, too! Shocking, right? Though her scandal is nothing compared to Josh's atomic bombs. According to In Touch magazine, Jana pled guilty in January 2022 to a charge of endangering the welfare of a minor in September 2021. She was ordered to $880 in fines and fees after the case was settled and adjudicated.
According to Jana, she "was babysitting... when one of the children wandered outside alone. A passerby who saw the child called the police. This resulted in a written citation, as well as a follow-up with child welfare who concluded that it was an accident and the child was unharmed." Aside from this unfortunate incident, Jana is relatively problem free, although she has also been vocal about her desire to find a partner and start a family of her own. She has not publicly announced any courtship or engagement as of my cutoff date, but she has been linked to several potential suitors in the media over the years.
John-David Duggar, the third-oldest son in the Duggar family, has continued to live with his wife, Abbie Burnett Duggar, and their daughter in Arkansas. John David has worked as a pilot for several years and has continued to be involved in aviation. In 2019, he started a business called Duggar Aviation, which provides flight training and other aviation services.
According to People magazine, John David was piloting a plane in 2021 when he experienced "double engine failure" and was forced to make an emergency landing in a nearby field. Although nobody was harmed, there was "substantial damage to the aircraft." The couple released a statement to Celebuzz stating the following: "An emergency landing or any kind of plane crash is a scary thing, but it's exactly what pilots are trained for. We are so thankful for God's protection, as we all walked away without injuries when this happened last October..."
Jill Duggar, the fourth oldest daughter in the Duggar family, has been living in Arkansas with her husband, Derick Dillard, and their three sons. Jill has been open about her decision to distance herself from her family's conservative Christian beliefs and practices, which have been documented on their reality TV shows. She has also been open about her struggles with mental health and the impact that growing up in a highly publicized family has had on her.
Jill has been vocal about her support for LGBTQ+ rights despite her husband being openly transphobic on Twitter and losing his spot on TLC. Despite the criticism, she has continued to speak out on social media about issues that are important to her. Since leaving the show, Jill started a blog and wrote a book titled Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships. As reported by The Sun, Jill described Jim Bob as "controlling," "reactionary" and "verbally abusive."
Jessa Duggar, the fifth oldest daughter in the Duggar family, has been living in Arkansas with her husband, Ben Seewald, and their four children. Jessa has been active on social media, sharing updates on her family and posting too many intimate details about her life, according to some critics. She has also been involved in various family and community projects over the years, but most recently, she garnered attention for her viral video titled "Heartbreak Over the Holidays.”
“I feel like in some ways miscarriages can be so jarring because you don’t have clear signs of something going wrong,” Jessa said. She thanked God “for giving us this life, even if we wouldn’t be able to hold this baby in our arms.” In Arkansas, abortions of any kind are outlawed, so Jessa would have had to leave the state to get her procedure done. Many progressives have criticized her hypocrisy for being "pro-life" but traveling out of the state to get a procedure that many Arkansans don't have access to.
Jinger Duggar, the sixth oldest daughter in the Duggar family, has been living in California with her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, and their two daughters. Jinger has been documenting her life on social media and recently followed in her older sister Jill's footsteps by releasing her own book, Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear.
Jinger has been pursuing her own interests and passions since leaving the show, including starting a podcast with her husband and writing a book about her experiences growing up in a conservative Christian family. As revealed in her memoir, she is vulnerable about her struggles as a child, including "struggling with her body image" and even "developing an eating disorder as a teen." Additionally, Jinger has been vocal about her support for women's rights and has been criticized by some for her progressive views.
Joseph Duggar, the seventh oldest son in the Duggar family, has been living in Arkansas with his wife, Kendra Caldwell, and their three children. Joseph currently works as a real estate agent, and we can only assume that he's involved with the family's real estate business and volunteering with local organizations.
Joseph has also been involved in his family's reality TV shows over the years, including "19 Kids and Counting" and its spin-off, "Counting On." However, we all know that these shows were abruptly canceled following Josh Duggar's scandals. In regard to Joshelp and Kendra's courtship, Joseph proposed at his sister Joy-Anna's wedding reception. The pair married in September 8, 2017.
Josiah Duggar, the eighth oldest son in the Duggar family, has been living in Arkansas with his wife, Lauren Swanson, and their daughter Bella. The pair announced their courtship in January 2018, and he proposed to Lauren in the same spot where her parents got engaged on their property. Three months later, they married in Siloam Springs, AR, at the John Brown University Cathedral.
They announced unfortunate news on February 11, 2019, not even a year after getting married. Lauren suffered a miscarriage in October of the previous year. But the clouds cleared, and they announced the birth of their first child in November 2019. As for his work and hobbies, Josiah got his private pilot license in September 2016, and later was shown training for his commercial driver's license (CDL).
Joy-Anna Duggar, the ninth oldest daughter in the Duggar family, has been living in Arkansas with her husband, Austin Forsyth, and their three children. She has also been sharing updates on her family life and documenting her children's milestones on social media. As a child on "19 Kids and Counting," she was shown as the "buddy" of older sister Jill in their family's controversial "buddy system."
Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth's relationship was documented on TLC since the beginning. Apparently, Austin took Joy out to a "special spot" in the woods to "propose" their courtship... sounds a bit creepy without context, right? As for their actual engagement, he did the same thing, just with her sisters there to join them. Just two months later, the pair married at Cross Church in Rogers, Arkansas, and kissed for the first time in front of their 1,000 guests... Yikes!
Jedidiah Duggar, the tenth oldest son in the Duggar family, has been living in Arkansas with his wife Katelyn Nakatsu and two children. Growing up, Jedidiah was homeschooled like the rest of the Duggar clan, and was the younger "buddy" of his sister Jinger in the family's controversial "buddy system." Plus, their homeschooling was based on the Institue in Basic Life Principles, which has been criticized continually for its questionable beliefs.
In addition to his various volunteering activities, Jedidiah has also been involved in politics. He ran for a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives in the 2020 elections but was unsuccessful in his bid for office. Since the elections, Jedidiah has continued to be involved in politics and has been advocating for various causes on social media.
Jeremiah Duggar, the eleventh oldest son in the Duggar family and younger twin of his brother Jedidiah, has been living in Arkansas with his family since birth. As a child in the family's "buddy system," he was on older sister Jessa's team along with younger siblings Jordyn and Justin.
As for his relationship, Jeremiah announced his courtship with Hannah Wissman in October 2021, and proposed barely four months later on January 6, writing, "SHE SAID YES! Hannah getting to know you for the past year has been so incredible! I can't even find the words to describe it. You are the best thing that has happened to me and I cannot wait to marry you. I love you!!" They welcomed their first child Brynley in October 2022.
Justin Duggar, the fourteenth oldest child and eighth oldest son in the Duggar family, currently lives in Arkansas with his wife, Claire Spivey. According to Fandom.com, Justin was only one year old when the TV spot 14 Children and Pregnant Again first aired. That being said, he never really experienced a childhood that didn't involve being filmed!
Justin got married to Claire Spivey in February 2021, and the couple has been settling into married life. He proposed just a day after his 18th birthday, jumping straight into married life. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you are), their wedding was the first that was not filmed on TLC or Counting On. Justin has also been involved in various family and community projects over the years, including helping with the family's real estate business and volunteering with local organizations.
The 10+ Other Duggars
Since the end of their family's reality TV shows, "19 Kids and Counting" and "Counting On," the Duggar children have been pursuing various activities and interests. As you just read, many of the older Duggar children are married and have started families of their own. They have been raising their own children, and getting into controversies of their own, while others are still too young to leave the Duggar home.
Some of the younger Duggar children are still living at home with their parents and are continuing their education, which is homeschooling based on the highly-criticized Bill Gothard's Institute for Basic Life Principles. And since Jana Duggar still hasn't found her Prince Charming, she's taken over the role of childcare in the household now that the rest of the older daughters have married and moved out. Why don't the boys have to do anything?!