Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity
What does this measure?
The proportion of single-parent families with children under 18 in various racial and ethnic groups.
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 the region performing?
In 2011-15, 53% of African American families in the region were single-parent families, by far the highest of any racial or ethnic group. This rate was below the statewide (excluding NYC) and national rates for African American families of 63% and 64% respectively and down 2 points from 2000. Dutchess (61%) had a rate higher than the region, Ulster (54%) was similar and Orange (47%) was lower. About 33% of Hispanic families and 24% of white families were headed by single parents in the Mid-Hudson Valley; those rates were also below their statewide and national counterparts. Rates rose for Hispanic and white families from 2000 by 1 and 3 points respectively. County rates of single-parent Hispanic families were similar to the region; rates among white families in Dutchess and Orange were similar to the region, while Ulster had a rate 7 points above that of the region. Just 9% of Asian families were headed by single parents, down from 10% in 2000.
Among cities, towns and villages, estimated rates of single-parent families were higher among African American residents of Poughkeepsie and Newburgh (both 73%), while for Hispanic families, single-parent families were most prevalent in Newburgh (49%). The populations in most other local areas, when broken down by race and ethnicity, were too small to yield reliable survey results.
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.