More Children Living with only One Parent


According to the new U.S. Census Bureau 2017 America’s Families and Living Arrangements, 25 percent of children under the age of 18 are living with only one parent and the percentage of children living with just their father increased from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 16.1 percent in 2017.

“A higher percentage of children living with one parent live with their fathers than a decade ago,” stated Rose Kreider, Chief, Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau. “However, the majority of children living with one parent still live with their mothers.”

Living Arrangement Statistics: Children

  • In 2017, 83.9 percent of children living with one parent live with their mothers; this figure was 86.0 percent in 2012 and 87.5 percent in 2007
  • About 20 million children under the age of 18 live with one parent, comprising 27.1 percent of all living arrangements for children under age 18
  • For children living with one parent, the most common marital status of the mother is never married (49 percent); for fathers, the most popular marital status is divorced (43 percent)
  • 8 percent of black children live in households with one parent, compared to 29.1 percent of Hispanic children and 22.4 percent of white alone children

The Census Bureau findings also show that adults are delaying marriage longer than before—the median age for first marriage is currently 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women—and 55 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 still live with their parents. Furthermore, households have decreased in size over time, with only 9 percent of households having five or more people living in them, and the 35.3 million single-person households in 2017 comprise 28 percent of all households.

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