What Do Single Parent Statistics Tell Us?

You cannot deny the fact that single parenting is a very hard job. No matter how you may have gotten to be a single parent, it cannot be denied that the road you are traveling on is a very rough one.

As far as single parent statistics go, there are about 14 million single parents here in the U.S. today. They are responsible for raising 21.6 million of our nation’s children. The statistics about single parents show that most single parents are mothers. Statistics show that 83.1% of the single custodial parents are mothers as compared with 16.9% being custodial fathers.

Further single parenting statistics show that single mothers are either divorced or separated, but take a look at a breakdown of the statistics:

Single Mothers Statistics

  • 45% of single mothers are either currently separated or divorced
  • 34% of single mothers are not or have never been married
  • 1.7% of single mothers are widows
  • 80% of single mothers are employed, with 50% working full-time and 30% working part-time
  • 27% of single mothers live in poverty with their children

Single Fathers Statistics

  • 58% of single fathers are either separated or divorced
  • 20% are currently married (or have remarried)
  • 21% have never been married
  • Fewer than 1% are widowed
  • 90% of single fathers are employed, with 72% working full-time and 19% working part-time

Single Parent StatisticsThere are a lot of struggles that single parents must face. It almost seems as though the deck is stacked against a single parent from the get-go! The single parent has to know how to balance work, housework, childcare, visitation schedules not to mention the children’s activities. When all is said and done, the single parent needs to set some time aside just for his or her very own.

Beyond Single Parent Statistics

One of the biggest struggles that a single parent faces is the financial one. This is true especially if you are the custodial parent. With a two-parent household, if both parents work, money is usually not such a hot topic. For more advice and information on finances, please read Grants For Single Parents. However, single parenting is not all bad. It is true that your children need guidance, attention and quality time but you can be there for them. Here are some things that you as a single parent can do with your children:

  • Read to your children especially when they are very young. There is never a time when it is too early to read to your children. Even though they may not understand what they hear, your children learn to identify the tone and rhythm of your voice. Nursery rhymes are very good to read to little ones.
  • It is very important that your children feel loved every day. One way of showing your love for them is by tucking little encouraging notes in their book bags so that they find it when they get to school.
  • Make sure that you show your children that there is no going back to past relationships. The only way you can show your children that you are ready to move forward is to close the door on the past.
  • Schedule a regular reading time either after dinner or before bedtime so you can wind down and relax with your children. This is a time to enjoy each others company and it provides a good bonding opportunity.
  • Get into an exercise routine and go bicycling with your children. You should work up to about 30 minutes three times a week. This is not only good exercise but a great stress reliever.

Yes, single parenting is not such an easy thing to do, but with more and more single parents nowadays their lot in society is improving. Remember that the most important thing is your children. Make sure that they grow up in a loving and nurturing home and you will be doing an excellent job!

Single Parenting StatisticsNeed more advice on raising a teenager? While single parent statistics often focus on the parents, we need to remember that the children are even more involved than the parents, as they have no choice but to be part of a single parent household. Teenagers, especially, must have a hard time of it, as they are very much influenced by their friends and their peers, and to see other kids with both parents all the time can only be a very heartbreaking sight.

Babies and younger children, while still knowing that something has happened to their family unit, are not as affected by single parenting as their teenaged counterparts. What do you say to a teenager when they suddenly turn around and throw an accusation at the custodial parent about how it is their fault that the parent is single? The only way to deal with something like this would be to lovingly and patiently sit the teenager down and explain exactly what happened to either break up the partnership, or if there wasn’t one to begin with, to explain why there is no other parent.

The best situation would be one where both parents are still very actively involved in their children’s lives, and both would be able to offer this information.

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  1. Doug Lunceford says:

    I enjoy the info on this site, But I have never seen anything about a mom leaving. I’m a single father, with a 9yr old daughter, mom left when she was 17months old, and I’ve raised her since ALONE.. No one discusses how to raise a child without a mom, everyone assumes mom never leaves, its always the dad, the dads are not always the bad guys.. If we are to discuss single parenting, lets cover the entire senerio..

  2. Roxanne says:

    I think there is increasing dialogue about single fathers, since single fathers are a rapidly increasing demographic. But there’s still a lot of stigma attached to it. Even getting the surprised/impressed reaction must be frustrating because of the prejudice buried in that reaction.

    This article says that only 17% of the single custodial parents are fathers– which is why most of the discussion is focused on women. But I think that’s a pretty big group, and it’s time to stop ignoring or minimizing the importance and accomplishments of single fathers.

    Of course, there are differences between being a single father and being a single mother, and I would like to see increased openness about what it means to be a dad raising a kid alone. Have you checked out websites oriented specifically toward advice and networking for single dads?

  3. darlene Rampersad says:

    I would like to see some updated information on how children from single parent families turn out as opposed to children of two parent families, my experience is that there isn’t that much difference anymore, parents on the whole are more educated AND more dedicated to bringing up a well rounded decent child, and in my experience i have seen JUST as many if not MORE problem children being turned out from two parent homes. I brought up my children on my own, three boys and one girl, and the majority of their classmates that gave trouble one way or another (drugs, pregnancy, alcohol etc.) were from two parent families and further more the both parents being the original birth parents! all the negative information is see dates way back into the 80’s and the early mid 90’s in other words, OLD thinking! I would like to see children of single parent households STOP being labeled negatively, they don’t deserve it and many of their parents don’t deserve it, we work tirelessly and put our lives on hold to ensure that our children are brought up well and turn out to be decent, respectful citizens, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, but everywhere you turn, you still get the same old thinking…particularly the boys… “the boy is from a single mother family you know”… frown…meanwhile the boy child of the nice couple on the corner beating his girlfriend silly! drinking endlessly, flunking every term,… but he’s “the son of the nice two parent family – original two parent family (meaning no step parent) on the corner” so it must be ok for your daughter to date HIM!

  4. I hear what you’re saying in terms of being a successful single parent and I too have seen children from two birth parent households also turn out some delinquent children, but the ‘rules’ as they say still haven’t changed. All you have to do is google the statistics on children from single parent homes and you will find your answers. Are two parent homes perfect. No, they’re not, but children from this more stable life tend do be more successful in the aggregate. I tried to post links, but I was unable too.

    The truth is pretty much this…sure you can have great kids in a single parent home and yes you can turn out some bad kids from two parents, however, a good portion of the time better and more stable children come from both Mommy and Daddy. Hey, we all have to make some judgement calls in our lives. My own wife was being used by a punching bag by her first husband so yes, she had to leave. However, with divorce soaring and the family court continually denigrating fathers, a good portion of them not the beasts or bad guys as Doug had stated, what is the collected effect on children?

    It isn’t the ‘thinking’ of society which undermines these children, it’s the breakdown of the family which hamstrings their success.

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