Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2007. Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 4. Never-married Family Status

07/31/2007

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2006

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2006

Source of CPS data: U.S. Census Bureau, “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 and “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-537, 547, 553 and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2006.

Source of 1960 data: U.S. Census Bureau, 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 11 percent in 2006.
  • The percentage of white children living in families headed by never-married women has steadily increased threefold over the past twenty years, from 2 percent in 1982 to 6 percent in 2006.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads tripled over the past 25 years, going from 4 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2004. Over the past three years, however, the percentage has remained stable at 12 percent.
  • The percentage of black children (35 percent) living in families headed by never-married women has been much higher than the percentages for other groups throughout the time period (6 percent for white children and 12 percent for Hispanic children).

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

Note: Data are for all children under 18 who are not family heads (excludes householders, subfamily reference persons and their spouses). Inmates of institutions also are excluded. 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. Census Bureau, “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 and “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-537, 547, 553 and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2005.

Source of 1960 data: U.S. Census Bureau, 1960 Census of Population, PC(2)-4B, “Persons by Family Characteristics,” Tables 1
and 19.

1960 221 49 173 NA 0.4 0.1 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 1,255 9.5 5.3 32.9 11.4
2001 6,736 3,002 3,381 1,397 9.8 5.5 33.2 11.9
2002 6,872 3,048 3,573 1,400 9.9 5.6 33.4 11.5
2003 7,006 3,029 3,451 1,495 10.0 5.6 33.3 11.9
2004 7,218 3,113 3,541 1,577 10.3 5.8 34.1 12.0
2005 7,412 3,278 3,609 1,622 10.6 6.0 35.4 12.0
2006 7,443 3,263 3,557 1,677 10.6 6.0 35.0 12.0

 

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