Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2000. Non-marital Birth Risk Factor 4. Never-married Family Status

03/01/2000

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families With Never-Married Female Head, by Race: 1982-98

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families With Never-Married Female Head, by Race: 1982-98

Source of CPS data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Marital Status and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-212, 287, 365, 380, 399, 418, 423, 433, 445, 450, 461, 468, 478, 484, 491, 496, 506, 514, various years. Source of 1960 data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1960 Census of Population, PC(2)-4B, “Persons by Family Characteristics,” tables 1 and 19.


  • The percentage of children living in families with never-married female heads increased from 5 percent in 1982 to 10 percent in 1998. This increase reflects growth across all racial categories.
  • The percentage of white children living in families headed by never-married women has increased significantly, from less than 2 percent in 1982 to over 5 percent in 1998. The percentage remains low, however, relative to proportions for other racial categories.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads more than doubled over the past sixteen years, going from less than 6 percent in 1982 to 12 percent in 1998.
  • The percentage of black children living in families headed by never-married women was much higher than the percentages for other groups throughout the time period. In 1998, 35 percent of black children, compared to 12 percent of Hispanic children and 5 percent of white children, lived in families headed by never-married women.

Table BIRTH 4. Number and Percentage of All Children Living in Families with Never-Married Female Head, by Race and Hispanic Origin: Selected Years

  Number of Children(in thousands) Percentage 4
  All Races White Black Hispanic All Races White Black Hispanic
1960 1 221 49 173 0.4 0.1 2.2
1970 2 527 110 442 0.8 0.2 5.2
1975 1,166 296 864 1.8 0.5 9.9
1980 2 1,745 501 1,193 210 2.9 1.0 14.5 4.0
1982 3 2,768 793 1,947 291 4.6 1.6 22.7 5.7
1984 3,131 959 2,109 357 5.2 1.9 23.9 6.5
1986 3,606 1,174 2,375 451 5.9 2.3 26.6 7.2
1987 3,985 1,385 2,524 587 6.5 2.8 28.2 9.2
1988 4,302 1,482 2,736 600 7.0 3.0 30.4 9.2
1989 4,290 1,483 2,695 592 6.9 2.9 29.6 8.7
1990 4,365 1,527 2,738 605 7.0 3.0 29.6 8.7
1991 5,040 1,725 3,176 644 8.0 3.4 33.3 9.0
1992 5,410 2,016 3,192 757 8.4 3.9 33.1 10.3
1993 5,511 2,015 3,317 848 8.5 3.9 33.6 11.3
1994 6,000 2,412 3,321 1,083 9.0 4.5 32.9 12.0
1995 5,862 2,317 3,255 1,017 8.7 4.3 32.3 10.8
1996 6,365 2,563 3,567 1,161 9.4 4.8 34.4 12.0
1997 6,598 2,788 3,575 1,242 9.7 5.1 34.3 12.4
1998 6,700 2,850 3,644 1,254 9.8 5.2 35.1 12.2

1 Decennial census data. Nonwhite data are shown for Black in 1960. 2 Revised based on population from the decennial census for that year. 3 Introduction of improved data collection and processing procedures that helped to identify parent-child subfamilies. (See Current Population Reports, P-20, 399, Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March 1984.) 4 Children not living with one or both parents are excluded from the denominator.

Note: Data are for all children under 18 who are not family heads (excludes householders, subfamily reference persons, and their spouses). Also excludes inmates of institutions; children who are living with neither of their parents are excluded from the denominator. Based on Current Population Survey (CPS) except where otherwise indicated. Source of CPS data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Marital Status and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-212, 287, 365, 380, 399, 418, 423, 433, 445, 450, 461, 468, 478, 484, 491, 496, 506, 514 , various years. Source of 1960 data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1960 Census of Population, PC(2)-4B, “Persons by Family Characteristics,” tables 1 and 19.

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