map preview image

Children in single-parent families in the United States

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

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. Compared with children in married-couple families, children raised in single-parent households are more likely to drop out of school, to have or cause a teen pregnancy and to experience a divorce in adulthood.

This indicator is included in the KIDS COUNT Child Well-Being Index. Read the KIDS COUNT Data Book to learn more: http://datacenter.kidscount.org/publications.
show more
Data Provided By

Definitions: Children under age 18 who live with their own single parent either in a family or subfamily.

In this definition, single-parent families may include cohabiting couples and do not include children living with married stepparents. Children who live in group quarters (for example, institutions, dormitories, or group homes) are not included in this calculation.

Data Source: Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, 2001 Supplementary Survey and 2002 through 2019 American Community Survey (ACS).

These data were derived from ACS table C23008.

Footnotes: Updated October 2020.
S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points.
N.A. – Data not available.
Data is provided for the 50 most populous cities according to the most recent Census counts. Cities for which data is collected may change over time. 
Use caution when comparing congressional districts over time. Congressional district boundaries may change between decennial censuses. Annual data for each congressional district refers to the boundaries for that district in that year.
A 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at Children in single-parent families.