Although raw facts do not convey any of the struggle or emotion of being a single parent, they can give us an insight into some of the stereotypical caricatures that have been created concerning especially single moms. This information provides a timely insight into single parenting and how both moms and dads cope with being single and raising children.
The US Census Bureau provided these single parenting facts, and they are current as of November 2009.
- There are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States, and they are responsible for raising around 28.1 million children, which represents 26% of all children in the United States under the age of 21 years old.
- Around 84% of custodial single parents are mothers and 16% are fathers. Of the mothers, 45% are currently divorced or separated, while 34.2% have never married at all. Of the men, 57.8% are divorced or separated and 34.2% have never married.
- Surprisingly 79.5% of single moms who have their children are employed, 49.8% of them full time. For single dads who have their children, 90% are gainfully employed.
- Another interesting single parenting fact is that only 27% of single mothers and 12.9% or single dads live in poverty.
- Although many picture single moms as young, these single parenting facts reveal that 39.1% are in fact over the age of 40.
- Typically a single mom is raising one child, with 54% of custodial moms raising one child from the separated parent, while 46% have two or more children with them full time.
Being a single parent is never easy, as these single parenting fact bear witness, but we should be encouraged that the typical image of single parenthood, being a young, irresponsible girl on welfare, is simply not true.
What is true is that many single parents are older, and single parent families are usually the result of marriage or relationship breakdown, not irresponsibility. According to these facts, typically single parents are older and hold down full time jobs. They are often successful and able to provide for their children without the help of welfare, and do a pretty good job of it too!
So if you are a single mom or dad, don’t be discouraged and don’t feel alienated because, as these single parenting facts show, you are part of a huge group of single moms and dads who can make a life for their kids!