WASHINGTON - The Washington Times focuses Wednesday on an evaluation of recent census figures showing the dramatic spike in America's number of single mom families - and with it, a shocking increase in poverty and government dependency.
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.
Poverty with single moms? The average married couple's joint income is $80,000 while a single mom's is $24,000. Which of the two would make more demands on the government? The answer is obvious.
But the issue is more prominent among blacks, the WT story points out.
Though income is the primary predictor, the lack of live-in fathers also is overwhelmingly a black problem, regardless of poverty status, census data show. Among blacks, nearly 5 million children, or 54 percent, live with only their mother. Twelve percent of black families below the poverty line have two parents present, compared with 41 percent of impoverished Hispanic families and 32 percent of poor white families.
The schism is most apparent in the District, which has a higher portion of two-parent families among whites, at 85 percent, and a lower share among blacks, at 25 percent, than any state.
In all but 11 states, most black children do not live with both parents. In every state, 7 in 10 white children do. In all states but Rhode Island and Massachusetts, most Hispanic children do. In Wisconsin, 77 percent of white children and 61 percent of Hispanics live with both parents, compared with more than 25 percent of black children.
America's challenges aren't just the economy. They also clearly involve morality and appreciation for two parent families - where both fathers and mothers are involved and fill critical emotional needs. More father initiatives are needed, one concludes in the WT story.
The question is how will America address that challenge?