The number of US children living in single-parent homes has nearly doubled in 50 years: Census data
1/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
By Kirsten Andersen
The number of children living in single-parent homes has nearly doubled since 1960, according to data from the 2010 Census.
The Washington Times analyzed the most recent census data, showing that the percentage of two-parent families has dropped significantly over the past decade in all 50 states. Even as the total number of American households with children increased by 160,000, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million.
Today, one-third of American children - a total of 15 million - are being raised without a father. Nearly five million more children live without a mother.
Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, blames this trend for many of society's ills. He claims the way to deal with poverty, drugs, crime and other hot-button cultural issues is to strengthen the two-parent family. Deal with absent fathers, he says, and the rest follows.
A growing number of studies show that fatherlessness has a major negative impact on the social and emotional development of children.
A 2011 University of Melbourne study found that absent fathers were linked with higher rates of juvenile delinquency, while a Canadian study showed that kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behavior problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older, even among socio-economically at-risk families.
Children without fathers are much more likely to grow up in poverty. While married couples with children enjoy an average income of $80,000, single mothers average only $24,000.
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