December 11, 2018

Majority of U.S. Children Growing Up With Married Parents

In 2017, 66% of children in the United States lived in married-couple households, 25% lived in mother-only households and 8% were in father-only households.*

For this same population, the data show that 4% of children were living in the care of their grandparents and 8% were in cohabiting households. These rates have remained relatively steady since 2010.

At the state level, Utah saw the highest rate of children living in married-couple households — 81% — while Mississippi and Louisiana saw the lowest at 56%.

While every family is unique, children growing up in single-parent households typically have access to fewer economic resources and valuable time with adults compared to kids in married-couple households. For example, 31% of single-parent families with children lived in poverty in 2017 compared to just 7% of married-couple families with children.

*Because of rounding, percentages do not add up to 100%.

Data About Family Structure in the KIDS COUNT Data Center