Additional information on single mother households and poverty in the United States
For most single mothers a constant battle persists between finding the time and energy to raise their children and the demands of working to supply an income to house and feed their families. The pressures of a single income and the high costs of childcare mean that the risk of poverty for these families is a tragic reality. Comparison of the overall United States poverty rate since 1990 with that of the poverty rate for families with a female householder shows that poverty is much more prevalent in the latter. In 2021, while the overall rate was at 11.6 percent, the rate of poverty for single mother families was 23 percent. Moreover, the degree of fluctuation tends to be lower for single female household families, suggesting the rate of poverty for these groups is less affected by economic conditions.
The sharp rise in the number of children living with a single mother or single father in the United States from 1970 to 2022 suggests more must be done to ensure that families in such situations are able to avoid poverty. Moreover, attention should also be placed on overall racial income inequality given the higher rate of poverty for Hispanic single mother families than their white or Asian counterparts.