What does this measure?
The number of single-parent families with children under 18, as a percent of all families with children under 18.
Why is this important?
Children in single-parent families are far more likely to grow up in low-income households than those living with two parents. They are at greater risk of low academic performance and behavioral problems and may experience parental conflict and residential instability as well.
How is Orange County performing?
In 2010-14, slightly more than one quarter of families (26%) in Orange County were single-parent families, an increase of 1 point from 2005-09 and 2 points since 2000. In 2010-14 and throughout the decade, the rate in Orange remained well below national and state (excluding NYC) rates. The proportion of single-parent families in Orange was lower than the proportion in the Mid-Hudson Valley region as a whole (28%).
Local areas with the highest estimated proportions of single-parent families included Newburgh (53%) and Middletown (46%).
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.