Wednesday, June 12, 2003

Census report: 20 million kids live with a single parent

The United States Census Bureau issued a press release today in which it reported that 20 million children were living in one-parent homes in March 2002.

According to the report, Children's Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, 19.8 million children under 18 lived with one parent: 16.5 million with their mother and 3.3 million with their father. About 3-in-10 living with their single father, or 1.1 million, resided in a household that included dad's unmarried partner. In contrast, only 1-in-10 children who lived with their single mother, or 1.8 million, shared the home with mom's unmarried partner.

On the health insurance front, 88 percent of all children had coverage as compared with 91 percent of those living with two parents, 86 percent of those with single mothers and 82 percent of those with single fathers. Only 59 percent of children in households where neither parent was present had health insurance coverage.

Other highlights from the report and accompanying tables:

-- Children living with single mothers and those living apart from both parents were most likely to be in households receiving public assistance (about 12 percent for each group).

-- Five percent of children living only with their father and 2 percent of those living with married parents were in households receiving public assistance.

-- About 5.6 million children, or 8 percent of the total, lived in a household that included a grandparent. The majority of these children (3.7 million) lived in the grandparent's home; of these, two-thirds had a parent present.

-- Children living in a grandparent's home with neither parent present were more likely to be poor (30 percent) than children living in their parent's home with a grandparent present (12 percent) or children living in a grandparent's home with a parent present (15 percent).

-- Among the 11.8 million children ages 15 to 17, about 2.4 million were working; and of these, 2.2 million were part-time.

The findings are from the Annual Demographic Supplement to the March 2002 Current Population Survey, which uses Census 2000 as the base for its sample. As in all surveys, the data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error.

The report can be accessed at


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