Single parent family households have become a common occurrence in the United States, and the number of these types of households has been on the rise for the last several decades. Currently in the United States, according to single parent family statistics, there are over 13 million single parents. Many of these parents do not choose to be single, but due to life circumstances such as divorce or separation, abandonment by a spouse, or death of a spouse, they find themselves raising their children alone. Nearly 85 percent of these households are headed by a female, while the remaining households are headed by a male. The vast majority of both female and male single parent households are either divorced or separated. Approximately one-third of female single parents have never been married, and less than a quarter of female single parents are remarried. Almost a quarter of single parent fathers remarried, while only about 18 percent of single fathers have never been married. Approximately 1 percent of single parents, both men and women, find themselves single parents as the result of the death of a spouse.
As single parents, both men and women face difficult, complicated decisions. Most single parent mothers and fathers work full-time jobs. However, according to single parent family statistics, even though the majority of mothers work full times jobs almost a third of these families live in poverty and approximately the same percentage receive public assistance. According to statistics, approximately 11 percent of single fathers live in poverty. In essence, about three times more single parent females live in poverty than their single male parent counterparts. These reasons could be explained by a myriad of factors, one being the discrepancy in pay between men and women in the workforce. Income is certainly not the only obstacle faced by single parent families but it may be one of the most stressful and challenging obstacles.
The health, education and behavior of children from single parent families can be adversely impacted by the absence of a parent. This is not to say that all children from single parents will suffer consequences such as these, but there is a greater chance that children from single parent families will face these issues. According to a report completed in 2005, about 63 percent of children in the United States grow up with both biological parents. That means that approximately 37 percent of children in this country grow up without both biological parents, which is reported to be one of the highest rates in the western world. Single parent family statistics indicate that black children are more likely than Asian, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children to grow up in a single parent family or a family where both biological parents are absent. Incidences of teen pregnancy, suicide, and drug abuse are higher among children from single parent homes. In addition, children from single parent families are more likely than their counterparts to drop out of high school, go to prison, or runaway from home.
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