Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity
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 our region performing?
In 2008-12, for all racial/ethnic groups, the region had larger proportions of families headed by single parents than the state and nation. Perhaps most notable, 73% of African American families in the region were headed by a single parent, versus 65% in the state and 64% in the nation. Within the region, Rochester's rate was particularly high at 79%.
For the other racial/ethnic groups in the region, 60% of Hispanic, 31% of white and 22% of Asian families were headed by single parents. Despite the fact that state and national rates were lower for all groups, what was more notable was the disparity between the region and the City of Rochester for most groups. In the city 70% of Hispanic, 53% of white, and 22% of Asian families were headed by single parents.
Notes about the data
The 2008-12 figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined three 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.