Children and Families
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity

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Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The percentage of single-parent families with children, as a percent of all families with children under 18, by race/ethnicity.

Why is this important?

Single-parent families may experience more stress and economic strain than dual-parent households with two incomes. Children in these families can be at risk of poorer health and educational outcomes. However, children may also have opportunities to build resilience and experience a larger community through the support of extended family and friends. Racial and ethnic disparities in rates of single parenthood have several possible causes, including current and historic policies that have placed particular strain on African American families, as well as broader changes in social attitudes about gender roles, marriage and single parenthood.

How is the region doing?

In 2014-18, the share of single-parent families in the MetroWest region was highest among Black or African American (55%) and Hispanic families (51%). Rates were substantially lower among white (29%) and Asian (16%) families. Because white families make up a larger share of the overall population, however, there was a far higher number of white single-parent families in the region (86,000) compared to African American, Hispanic and Asian single-parent families (14,300, 17,200 and 7,300, respectively). Rates for all racial and ethnic groups increased since 2000, with the largest increase among Hispanic families (5 percentage points).

Compared to MetroWest, Massachusetts had higher shares of single-parent families across all racial and ethnic groups, but especially among Hispanic and African American families (8 points higher for both groups). The national percentage of single-parent families was higher for Asian (4 points), white (4 points) and African American families (11 points), but lower among Hispanic families (10 points).

Among the region's counties, Worcester County had the highest shares of single-parent families among Hispanic (60%) and white (36%) families, while the rate for African American families was highest in Norfolk (59%). Sample sizes for individual communities in the region were too small to report reliably.

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 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 released annually in December.

The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States20%66%41%33%
Massachusetts18%63%59%34%
Region16%55%51%29%
Middlesex18%55%48%27%
Norfolk15%59%38%**23%
Worcester14%**51%60%36%
Acton town, Middlesex County12%****0%******0%******10%****
Ashland town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******23%**
Bedford town, Middlesex County9%******66%******0%******19%**
Bellingham town, Norfolk County0%******0%******73%******25%**
Boxborough town, Middlesex County34%******0%******0%******17%******
Carlisle town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******10%******
Concord town, Middlesex County11%******0%******0%******22%**
Dedham town, Norfolk County0%******61%****43%******23%**
Dover town, Norfolk County0%******0%******42%******21%****
Framingham city, Middlesex County13%******65%****67%**32%
Franklin town, Norfolk County5%******34%******0%******25%**
Groton town, Middlesex County13%******0%******0%******19%****
Harvard town, Worcester County0%******41%******0%******23%****
Holliston town, Middlesex County0%******0%******83%******18%**
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******17%**
Hudson town, Middlesex County0%******0%******51%******26%**
Lexington town, Middlesex County12%****0%******17%******13%**
Lincoln town, Middlesex County22%******0%******33%******13%******
Littleton town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******25%****
Marlborough city, Middlesex County6%******40%******43%******34%**
Maynard town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******16%****
Medfield town, Norfolk County12%******69%******0%******14%**
Medway town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******21%**
Milford town, Worcester County0%******95%******31%******39%
Millis town, Norfolk County0%******100%******0%******24%******
Natick town, Middlesex County7%******57%******33%******24%**
Needham town, Norfolk County22%******83%****10%******14%****
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0%******100%******0%******8%******
Southborough town, Worcester County14%******67%******83%******12%****
Stow town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******18%******
Sudbury town, Middlesex County0%******88%******34%******17%**
Walpole town, Norfolk County0%******44%******20%******11%****
Waltham city, Middlesex County7%******72%****36%****23%**
Wayland town, Middlesex County4%******0%******34%******11%****
Wellesley town, Norfolk County9%******0%******50%******15%**
Westborough town, Worcester County2%******20%******19%******26%**
Westford town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******22%**
Weston town, Middlesex County14%******82%******24%******18%****
Westwood town, Norfolk County17%******0%******50%******18%**

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States452,8793,618,0973,233,1389,388,292
Massachusetts10,93346,20565,186211,595
Region7,30414,25817,16285,940
Middlesex4,7176,1017,86039,953
Norfolk1,7425,0691,656**15,389
Worcester845**3,0887,64630,598
Acton town, Middlesex County151****0******0******238****
Ashland town, Middlesex County0******0******0******469**
Bedford town, Middlesex County28******124******0******297**
Bellingham town, Norfolk County0******0******116******489**
Boxborough town, Middlesex County96******0******0******90******
Carlisle town, Middlesex County0******0******0******51******
Concord town, Middlesex County26******0******0******481**
Dedham town, Norfolk County0******301****162******532**
Dover town, Norfolk County0******0******40******184****
Framingham city, Middlesex County92******419****1,220**1,966
Franklin town, Norfolk County18******40******0******1,098**
Groton town, Middlesex County12******0******0******260****
Harvard town, Worcester County0******16******0******151****
Holliston town, Middlesex County0******0******108******390**
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County0******0******0******389**
Hudson town, Middlesex County0******0******87******560**
Lexington town, Middlesex County249****0******18******395**
Lincoln town, Middlesex County10******0******36******111******
Littleton town, Middlesex County0******0******0******329****
Marlborough city, Middlesex County16******74******454******1,342**
Maynard town, Middlesex County0******0******0******191****
Medfield town, Norfolk County18******20******0******254**
Medway town, Norfolk County0******0******0******377**
Milford town, Worcester County0******70******201******1,240
Millis town, Norfolk County0******84******0******233******
Natick town, Middlesex County58******28******122******1,032**
Needham town, Norfolk County121******268****16******542****
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0******18******0******52******
Southborough town, Worcester County40******22******59******129****
Stow town, Middlesex County0******0******0******167******
Sudbury town, Middlesex County0******88******34******434**
Walpole town, Norfolk County0******55******42******316****
Waltham city, Middlesex County31******338****419****916**
Wayland town, Middlesex County13******0******24******188****
Wellesley town, Norfolk County48******0******63******484**
Westborough town, Worcester County24******20******29******454**
Westford town, Middlesex County0******0******0******622**
Weston town, Middlesex County34******42******18******202****
Westwood town, Norfolk County42******0******13******356**

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable


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