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Children And Families
Single-Parent Families

Increasing


Single-Parent Families

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?

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.

How is the region doing?

In 2016-20, 25% of families with children under 18 in the MetroWest region were headed by one parent, well below the national rate of 34% and the statewide rate of 32%. The regional rate was the same in 2011-15 but increased 4 percentage points since 2000 (21%). The state and nation had similar increases during this period.

Among local counties, the highest rate was found in Worcester (32%), while the lowest rate was in Norfolk (21%). Every county saw an increase from 2000 to 2016-20. Framingham and Milford had rates much higher than that of the overall region - about 1 in 3 families with children were headed by single parents in 2016-20, both up 8 percentage points, respectively, since 2000. For comparison, roughly half of families were headed by single parents in Boston in 2016-20, the same as in 2000.

Notes about the data

The multi-year 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. 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.

Single-Parent Families
20002006-102011-152016-20
United States29%33%35%34%
Massachusetts27%31%32%32%
Region21%24%25%25%
Middlesex20%23%22%23%
Norfolk17%22%21%21%
Worcester27%29%32%32%
Acton town, Middlesex County11%14%**9%**15%**
Ashland town, Middlesex County15%20%*14%*20%***
Bedford town, Middlesex County13%16%***11%***20%**
Bellingham town, Norfolk County14%22%**26%**31%**
Boxborough town, Middlesex County10%16%***17%***10%***
Carlisle town, Middlesex County8%10%***6%***13%***
Concord town, Middlesex County13%13%***14%**10%**
Dedham town, Norfolk County18%24%*24%*22%**
Dover town, Norfolk County10%5%***5%***11%***
Framingham city, Middlesex County25%29%30%33%
Franklin town, Norfolk County18%*14%*19%**
Groton town, Middlesex County15%15%***19%**16%**
Harvard town, Worcester County12%15%***21%***13%***
Holliston town, Middlesex County13%12%***18%**10%**
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County13%13%***11%**8%**
Hudson town, Middlesex County20%25%*24%*21%**
Lexington town, Middlesex County11%15%*13%*11%*
Lincoln town, Middlesex County12%12%***13%**13%***
Littleton town, Middlesex County16%9%***13%**14%***
Marlborough city, Middlesex County19%18%*29%*27%*
Maynard town, Middlesex County20%17%***16%***17%**
Medfield town, Norfolk County10%10%**12%**9%**
Medway town, Norfolk County11%7%***12%**15%**
Milford town, Worcester County23%24%*33%*31%*
Millis town, Norfolk County15%21%**15%***17%***
Natick town, Middlesex County15%15%*14%*16%*
Needham town, Norfolk County9%14%*13%*11%**
Sherborn town, Middlesex County12%14%***8%***11%***
Southborough town, Worcester County6%7%***14%**11%**
Stow town, Middlesex County10%7%***17%***16%***
Sudbury town, Middlesex County9%14%**10%**8%**
Walpole town, Norfolk County9%18%**12%**12%**
Waltham city, Middlesex County19%28%*29%22%*
Wayland town, Middlesex County10%11%***8%***10%***
Wellesley town, Norfolk County10%16%*10%*14%*
Westborough town, Worcester County11%9%***12%*12%**
Westford town, Middlesex County10%10%***12%*13%*
Weston town, Middlesex County10%15%***12%***15%**
Westwood town, Norfolk County10%10%**14%**13%**

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%.




Number of Single-Parent Families
20002006-102011-152016-20
United States11,101,75512,727,92713,004,89712,591,663
Massachusetts220,581247,191248,967241,253
Region78,41489,00389,20288,780
Middlesex36,68941,05540,75640,688
Norfolk14,40518,31517,33117,400
Worcester27,32029,63331,11530,692
Acton town, Middlesex County369519**301**507**
Ashland town, Middlesex County331476*324*430***
Bedford town, Middlesex County203272***215***384**
Bellingham town, Norfolk County326500**505**642**
Boxborough town, Middlesex County87113***119***64***
Carlisle town, Middlesex County6580***42***87***
Concord town, Middlesex County305262***315**237**
Dedham town, Norfolk County531676*663*608**
Dover town, Norfolk County8441***45***106***
Framingham city, Middlesex County2,0412,3962,4972,805
Franklin town, Norfolk County878*674*867**
Groton town, Middlesex County238235***304**237**
Harvard town, Worcester County98119***168***95***
Holliston town, Middlesex County287236***375**197**
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County281348***286**221**
Hudson town, Middlesex County467588*565*469**
Lexington town, Middlesex County464687*619*563*
Lincoln town, Middlesex County163129***146**127***
Littleton town, Middlesex County185110***144**199***
Marlborough city, Middlesex County876858*1,360*1,240*
Maynard town, Middlesex County268227***181***247**
Medfield town, Norfolk County209197**232**189**
Medway town, Norfolk County211136***222**257**
Milford town, Worcester County838913*1,188*1,076*
Millis town, Norfolk County176244**171***154***
Natick town, Middlesex County617637*672*721*
Needham town, Norfolk County353589*567*509**
Sherborn town, Middlesex County8088***54***65***
Southborough town, Worcester County86114***194**167**
Stow town, Middlesex County8863***166***182***
Sudbury town, Middlesex County266389**293**225**
Walpole town, Norfolk County267558**387**420**
Waltham city, Middlesex County9501,453*1,4861,018*
Wayland town, Middlesex County211210***160***216***
Wellesley town, Norfolk County364577*373*526*
Westborough town, Worcester County268254***312*329**
Westford town, Middlesex County338336***415*527*
Weston town, Middlesex County151220***191***215**
Westwood town, Norfolk County201208**301**258**

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%.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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