Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2005 . Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 4. Never-married Family Status

08/30/2005

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2004

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2004

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, 537 various years, and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2003 and 2004.

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 under 5 percent in 1982 to just over 10 percent in 2004.
  • The percentage of white children living in families headed by never-married women has continued to rise over the past twenty years, from less than 2 percent in 1982 to almost 6 percent in 2004.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads more than doubled over the past twenty years, going from less than 6 percent in 1982 to 12 percent in 1996. Since then it has fluctuated up and down by about one-half a percentage point.
  • 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.

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

  Number of Children (thousands) Percentage
Year All Races White Black Hispanic All Races White Black Hispanic
1960 221 49 173 NA 0.4 0.4 2.2 NA
1970 527 110 442 NA 0.8 0.2 5.2 NA
1975 1,166 296 864 NA 1.8 0.5 9.9 NA
1980 1,745 501 1,193 210 2.9 1.0 14.5 4.0
1982 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
1999 6,736 2,826 3,643 1,297 9.8 5.2 35.3 12.2
2000 6,591 2,881 3,413 1,256 9.5 5.3 32.9 11.4
2001 6,636 3,014 3,382 1,340 9.6 5.5 32.4 11.9
2002 6,872 3,048 3,573 1,400 9.9 5.6 33.4 11.5
2003 7,008 3,028 3,454 1,497 10.0 5.6 33.3 11.9
2004 7,203 3,097 3,538 1,567 10.3 5.7 34.0 12.0

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 1960, which is based on decennial census data. In 1982, improved data collection and processing procedures helped to identify parent-child subfamilies. (See Current Population Reports, P-20, 399, Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March 1984.)

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately. Nonwhite data are shown for Black in 1960.

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, 537, various years, and ASPE tabulations of the CPS, for 2003 and 2004.

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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