Percent of Children in Single-Parent Families


Much of the public interest in family structure is linked to the fact that children growing up in single-parent families typically do not have the same economic or human resources available as those growing up in two-parent families.


In 2007, 32 percent of single-parent families with related children had incomes below the poverty line, compared to 6 percent of married-couple families with children. Only one-third of female-headed families reported receiving any child support or alimony payments in 2006. The U.S. Census Bureau defines single-parent families as those families headed by an unmarried adult.


~ About 22.3 million children lived in single-parent families in 2007.

~ Nationwide, there was a slight increase in the Percent of Children in Single-Parent Families, from 31 percent in 2000 to 32 percent in 2007.

~ During this period, 4 states and the District of Columbia recorded a decrease in the Percent of Children in Single-Parent Families, 13 states reported no change in this measure, while the situation worsened in 33 states.

~ In 2007, the Percent of Children in Single-Parent Families ranged from a low of 18 percent in Utah to a high of 44 percent in Mississippi.

~ Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of African-American children lived in single-parent families, compared to a little more than one-third (37 percent) for Latinos and slightly less than one-fourth (23 percent) for non-Hispanic whites.


Percent of Children in Single-Parent Families

by Race and Hispanic Origin: 2007

National Average 32

Non-Hispanic White 23

Black/African American 65

Asian/Pacific Islander 17

American Indian 49

Hispanic/Latino 37


Find more information at the Indicator Briefs and Definitions sections of theKIDS COUNT website:

© 2008 The Annie E. Casey Foundation.