Female-headed households with own children

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Why This Indicator Matters

Parents struggling with financial hardship have fewer resources to invest in their children and are more prone to stress and depression, which can interfere with effective parenting. Even with the best efforts of parents, children growing up in single parent families typically have access to fewer economic resources and valuable time with adults than children in two-parent families who can share the responsibilities. For example, in 2016, 75 percent of single female families had incomes below poverty line, compared with 38 percent of married couples with children. The effects of growing up in single- parent families go beyond economics, increases the likelihood of children dropping out of school, being disconnected from the labor market and becoming teen parents.

These findings underscore the importance of two-generation strategies, which address the needs of parents and children at the same time so that both can succeed together.

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Definitions: Families with own children under 18 years of age living in the household, headed by a female without a husband present in the home. "Own children" includes never-married persons under age 18 who are the sons or daughters of the householders. The householders' stepchildren and adopted children also are counted as "own children."

Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2005-2009, 2006-2010, 2007-2011, 2008-2012, 2009-2013, 2010-2014, 2012-2016. American Community Survey (5 years estimates).