Performance Improvement 2008. Which Poor Single Mothers Exit and Remain Out of Poverty?


This secondary data analysis examined the extent to which single mothers are able to exit and remain out of poverty, and the factors most strongly associated with their continued economic progress. The population of single mothers includes those who have never received welfare but may be at greater risk of needing public assistance. The study used the 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the income and employment experiences of a nationally representative sample of single mothers who exited poverty.

Among all single mothers in 2001, thirty percent exited poverty by the end of 2001. The most common event associated with poverty exits was an increase in employment or earnings. Seventy-two percent of single mothers who exited poverty returned to poverty within two years. The single mothers who exited poverty and stayed out of poverty tended to be older and had somewhat more education. They also experienced the largest earnings increases over the follow-up period, and tended to have higher-paying jobs with more benefits.

Report Title: Economic Patterns of Single Mothers Following Their Poverty Exits,
Agency Sponsor:
ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Laura Chadwick, 202-690-7772
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
PIC ID: 8586

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