Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Fourteenth Report to Congress. Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Child Support

09/22/2015

Figure ECON 6.  Poverty Rates for Custodial Mothers by Marital Status and Receipt of Child Support: 2011

Figure ECON 6.  Poverty Rates for Custodial Mothers by Marital Status and Receipt of Child Support: 2011

Note: Data are for mothers with custody. 

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, 2012.


  • Figure ECON 6 shows poverty rates for custodial mothers by marital status and receipt of child support.  The poverty rates of custodial mothers are correlated with their marital status.
  • The poverty rate for all custodial mothers was 31.9 percent in 2011.  When factoring in current marital status, currently married custodial mothers had a poverty rate of 17.9 percent.  Previously married custodial mothers had a poverty rate of 27.8 percent, and never married mothers had a poverty rate of 43.6 percent.
  • Receipt of child support is correlated with the poverty status of custodial parents. For all custodial mothers who did not receive child support, their poverty rate was 33.9 percent.  Custodial mothers who received child support had a poverty rate of 28.2 percent—5.7 percentage points lower than custodial mothers who did not receive child support.
  • Receipt of child support is also correlated with the poverty status of custodial fathers. There are four times as many custodial mothers as there are custodial fathers, and in general custodial fathers have a lower poverty rate than custodial mothers.   Yet regardless of sex, receipt of child support is associated with a lower poverty rate.  Custodial fathers who received child support had a lower poverty rate in 2011 than did those custodial fathers who did not receive child support, 13.4 percent and 16.7 percent respectively.

Table ECON 6. Poverty Rates of Families by Sex, Marital Status, and Receipt of Child Support: 2011

Parents with legal custody

Mothers

Fathers

Percent of Total

Total

81.8

18.2

 

Percentage in poverty

All parents with legal custody

31.9

16.2

  Married

17.9

10.5

  Previously married

27.8

12.6

  Never married

43.6

28.0

      Received child support last year

28.2

13.4

      Received no child support last year

33.9

16.7

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, 2012.

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