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According to the U.S. Census, the Number of Single Parents Continues to Rise

What Does the U.S. Census Tell Us About Single Parent Statistics?

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According to the latest single parent statistics, are we experiencing an epidemic of single parenting in the U.S.?

Single parenting is not a new phenomenon. In fact, the number of single parents raising children in the U.S. has been on the rise for decades. According to the latest single parent statistics reported in the article Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 18-24, 2011:

  • 11.7 million* single parents were living with their children in 2010
  • 9.9 million of those single parents were custodial single moms
  • 1.8 million of those single parents were custodial single dads
  • According to these figures, approximately 85% of single parent households are headed by custodial single moms, while 15% are headed by custodial single dads

According to the latest single parent statistics, how many children are being raised in single parent households compared to two-parent households?

According to America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2010:

  • 69.4% of American children live with both parents
  • 23.1% of American children live with their mother only
  • 3.4% of American children live with their father only
  • 4.1% of American children live with neither parent

In addition, according to Single Parent Households by Country:

  • 19.5% of households with children were headed by a single parent in 1980
  • 29.5% of American households with children were headed by a single parent in 2008

Obviously, rising divorce rates contribute to the increase in single parent households. But according to the latest single parent statistics, are more unmarried women choosing to have children today than ever before?

According to Births to Unmarried Women by Country:

  • 18.4% of all births in the U.S. in 1980 were to unmarried women
  • 40.6% of all births in the U.S. in 2008 were to unmarried women

*This figure is actually smaller than the number reported in the U.S. Census report Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007.

Please note that the single parent statistics included in this article come from a variety of different sources. If you wish to use these statistics for your own purposes, please cite this article properly or refer to original sources cited here. In addition, the statistical analysis included here is copyrighted material. As such, it is subject to copyright laws and is not considered fair use material.

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