NOV. 16, 2017 — The percentage of children living with one parent who live with just their father saw an increase from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 16.1 percent in 2017. That’s according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 America’s Families and Living Arrangements table package.
“A higher percentage of children living with one parent live with their fathers than a decade ago,” said Rose Kreider, a demographer in the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch at the Census Bureau. “However, the majority of children living with one parent still live with their mothers.”
In 2017, 83.9 percent of children living with one parent live with their mothers, compared to 86.0 percent in 2012 and 87.5 percent in 2007.
Overall, nearly 20 million children under age 18 live with one parent, composing 27.1 percent of all living arrangements for children under age 18. In 2007, 25.8 percent of children under age 18 lived with one parent, and in 2012, one of the highest intervening years, 28.3 percent of children under age 18 lived with one parent.
Of children who live with one parent, the most common marital status of the mother is never married (49 percent). The most common marital status of the father is divorced (43 percent). For children who live with their mother only, the largest proportions are ages 6 to 11 (36 percent), and ages 12 to 17 (35 percent). For children who live with their father only, the largest proportions are ages 12 to 17 (43 percent), followed by the proportion ages 6 to 11 (31 percent).
“The age distribution of children under age 18 who live with one parent shows a higher proportion of children living with their mother only are younger than children living with their father only,” Kreider said.
There continues to be racial and ethnic variation in living arrangements for children under age 18. Today, over half (52.8 percent) of black alone children live with one parent, compared to 29.1 percent of Hispanic children and 22.4 percent of white alone children.
These statistics come from the 2017 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families for more than 60 years. The data shows characteristics of households, living arrangements, married and unmarried couples, and children.