Nums: What % of kids have both parents present?

I was chatting with a friend of mine who  is a middle school teacher is suburban Baltimore.

He was telling me about his schools online grading system that regularly emails parents with detailed tracking of their kids’ performance – grades on tests, whether or not homework was turned in, etc.

I asked: What percent of parents are on the system – getting the emails.

He said about 75%.

The other 25% either don’t have internet access (a few) … or either don’t care or are single-parents stretched thin (a lot).

That got me wondering about the number of kids who are structurally disadvantaged by having only one parent present to raise them

Well, it turns out that the Washington Times just did an analysis of Census data to answer the question.

Since the answer may be a bit controversial, I’ll just stick to the facts …


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Drilling down, here are some details from the analysis …

  • In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade.
  • Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million.
  • Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother.
  • In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers
  • The proportion of fatherless kids is concentrated in the inner cities. For example, in Baltimore, only 38 percent of families have two parents, in St. Louis the portion is 40 percent.
  • Among blacks, nearly 5 million children, or 54 percent, live with only their mother. In DC only 25 percent of black children live in a 2-parent home.
  • Nationwide, the average black single mother has more children, not fewer, than her counterpart with a father present.

These numbers aren’t surprising, but they’re still shocking.

I wish Mrs. Obama would jump on this issue … way more  important than whether kids are eating too many burgers.

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2 Responses to “Nums: What % of kids have both parents present?”

  1. Jody Wise Says:

    Speaking as a single parent, it may not be a clear picture to look at household composition unless it is overlayed with household income or educational background. Yes we single paretns are stretched thin but if the household views education as a priority or if the family has resources then we figure out ways to stay involved or get help.

  2. TK Says:

    Nutrition is vitally important to education. It is appropriate for Mrs. Obama to keep beating thatr drum. I don’t think she can do much about the composition of a child’s home.

    Many of the black and latino kids have no faith that opportunities like college and employment will be waiting for them after high school graduation. Recent attacks on affirmative action only serve to make these kids less confident that making an investment in school will pay-off. This is a tragedy since we know that people will act as you incent them to act.

    I agree that keeping parents involved is important, but I’m not sure that is a lever you can adjust in the short run.

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