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

03/01/2014

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

(Percent)

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Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, 2012.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 to the poverty status of custodial mothers. 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 was 28.2 percent or 5.7 percentage points lower than custodial mothers who did not receive child support.
  • Not only is child support non-receipt correlated to the poverty status of custodial mothers, it also is correlated to the poverty status of custodial fathers.
  • Table ECON 6 shows the poverty rates of families by sex, marital status and receipt of child support in 2011.
  • 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 gender, receipt of child support lowers the 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Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, 2012.

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