Female householder, no husband present, below poverty with children under 18 years old

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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. 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. While children growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy child development. It increases the likelihood that a child will be exposed to factors that can impair his or her brain development and lead to poor academic, cognitive and health outcomes. It also can result in higher rates of risky health-related behaviors among adolescents. Extended exposure to poverty also contributes to worse teen and adult outcomes. And the risks posed by economic hardship are greatest among children who experience poverty when they are young and among those who experience persistent and deep poverty. The child poverty rate in Puerto Rico has remain constant, around 56% and 57%, for at least 10 years. 

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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