1 in 4 Children in US Raised by a Single Parent
Associated Press (via The Grio) | April 27, 2011
MIAMI (AP) — One in four children in the United States is being raised by a single parent — a percentage that has been on the rise and is higher than other developed countries, according to a report released Wednesday.
Of the 27 industrialized countries studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. had 25.8 percent of children being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 14.9 percent across the other countries.
Ireland was second (24.3 percent), followed by New Zealand (23.7 percent). Greece, Spain, Italy and Luxemborg had among the lowest percentages of children in single-parent homes.
Experts point to a variety of factors to explain the high U.S. figure, including a cultural shift toward greater acceptance of single-parent child rearing. The U.S. also lacks policies to help support families, including childcare at work and national paid maternity leave, which are commonplace in other countries.
“When our parents married, there was a sense that you were marrying for life,” said Edward Zigler, founder and director of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. “That sense is not as prevalent.”
Single parents in the U.S. were more likely to be employed — 35.8 percent compared to a 21.3 percent average — but they also had higher rates of poverty, the report found. (Read more)