Racial Equity
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Using the charts: Items in the legend below the chart can be clicked on and off to aid in analysis. The chart can also be printed or exported as an image or document using the menu at the top right of the chart. Visit Using the Site for more information.





Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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.

How is our county performing?

Single-parent families were more common among Black and Latino families in Worcester County at 54% and 61%, respectively, in 2018-22. The share of single-parent families among White families rose from 33% in 2008-12 to 39% in 2018-22.

Compared to Worcester in 2018-22, Massachusetts had slightly smaller shares of single parents among White (34%) and Latino (59%) families. The percentage of single-parent African American families was higher at the state level (62%). The U.S. had a substantially smaller percentage of single parents among Latino families (44%) than Worcester, but a higher share among African American families (67%).

Why do these disparities exist?

Research on family structure points to a variety of explanations about why more children of color are growing up in single parent households. These include high incarceration rates of men of color, economic strain, changing attitudes about marriage and the dismantling of Black families during slavery and its enduring influence on family structure.

Notes about the data

The multiyear 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. 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, 2018-22
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County14%*54%61%39%
AtholN/A***N/A***0%***53%*
Clinton0%***N/A***56%***33%**
Fitchburg0%***60%**52%*56%*
Gardner22%***100%***0%***51%*
Northbridge100%***100%***77%***35%*
Southbridge52%***75%***68%*61%*
SpencerN/A***N/A***100%***38%**
Webster0%***91%**76%**50%*
Westborough10%***69%***6%***26%**
Worcester25%**53%69%53%
Massachusetts21%62%59%34%
Additional Worcester County localities
Ashburnham0%***N/A***100%***46%***
Auburn14%***100%***28%***47%*
BarreN/A***N/A***N/A***27%***
Berlin0%***N/A***N/A***31%***
Blackstone100%***0%***0%***35%**
Bolton0%***N/A***N/A***9%***
Boylston26%***N/A***52%***28%***
BrookfieldN/A***N/A***100%***35%***
CharltonN/A***0%***0%***36%*
DouglasN/A***N/A***0%***26%***
Dudley0%***37%***83%***47%*
East Brookfield100%***73%***N/A***27%***
Grafton8%***0%***59%***24%*
HardwickN/A***N/A***0%***17%***
Harvard0%***0%***0%***11%***
Holden0%***82%***27%***31%*
HopedaleN/A***N/A***0%***35%***
Hubbardston0%***100%***0%***29%***
LancasterN/A***0%***79%***25%***
LeicesterN/A***100%***61%***38%**
Lunenburg0%***65%***82%***44%*
MendonN/A***N/A***N/A***17%***
Milford0%***0%***36%***34%*
Millbury0%***0%***89%***43%*
MillvilleN/A***N/A***N/A***18%***
New BraintreeN/A***N/A***N/A***46%***
Northborough0%***0%***82%***22%**
North BrookfieldN/A***0%***N/A***12%***
OakhamN/A***0%***N/A***23%***
OxfordN/A***0%***19%***32%*
Paxton0%***0%***44%***52%*
PetershamN/A***N/A***N/A***21%***
PhillipstonN/A***N/A***N/A***26%***
PrincetonN/A***N/A***N/A***25%***
RoyalstonN/A***N/A***N/A***36%***
Rutland0%***N/A***62%***17%***
Shrewsbury8%***18%***62%***31%*
Southborough8%***100%***36%***13%**
SterlingN/A***0%***N/A***44%***
Sturbridge0%***0%***0%***29%**
SuttonN/A***N/A***0%***13%***
TempletonN/A***N/A***0%***53%***
Upton0%***0%***0%***31%**
Uxbridge0%***100%***0%***32%**
WarrenN/A***N/A***N/A***28%***
West Boylston0%***71%***68%***30%**
West BrookfieldN/A***N/A***0%***54%**
WestminsterN/A***N/A***72%***30%***
Winchendon0%***N/A***0%***33%**
Leominster9%***42%***52%**46%*

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, 2018-22
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County967*3,72210,45732,504
Athol0***0***0***704*
Clinton0***0***182***541**
Fitchburg0***221**1,113*2,067*
Gardner16***70***0***1,044*
Northbridge25***12***246***707*
Southbridge12***237***946*1,054*
Spencer0***0***168***466**
Webster0***230**289**891*
Westborough130***83***16***449**
Worcester394**2,3295,5406,741
Massachusetts14,39146,77775,070199,669
Additional Worcester County localities
Ashburnham0***0***50***440***
Auburn12***13***32***1,002*
Barre0***0***0***100***
Berlin0***0***0***84***
Blackstone132***0***0***450**
Bolton0***0***0***61***
Boylston9***0***12***157***
Brookfield0***0***20***156***
Charlton0***0***0***764*
Douglas0***0***0***306***
Dudley0***41***140***640*
East Brookfield12***8***0***50***
Grafton24***0***96***554*
Hardwick0***0***0***39***
Harvard0***0***0***62***
Holden0***94***47***859*
Hopedale0***0***0***327***
Hubbardston0***34***0***119***
Lancaster0***0***78***228***
Leicester0***86***34***421**
Lunenburg0***22***74***684*
Mendon0***0***0***146***
Milford0***0***205***856*
Millbury0***0***72***720*
Millville0***0***0***63***
New Braintree0***0***0***62***
Northborough0***0***120***389**
North Brookfield0***0***0***45***
Oakham0***0***0***34***
Oxford0***0***20***546*
Paxton0***0***8***285*
Petersham0***0***0***20***
Phillipston0***0***0***50***
Princeton0***0***0***97***
Royalston0***0***0***49***
Rutland0***0***94***193***
Shrewsbury152***34***228***1,073*
Southborough30***20***28***159**
Sterling0***0***0***536***
Sturbridge0***0***0***345**
Sutton0***0***0***140***
Templeton0***0***0***521***
Upton0***0***0***317**
Uxbridge0***64***0***504**
Warren0***0***0***177***
West Boylston0***46***32***168**
West Brookfield0***0***0***196**
Westminster0***0***38***276***
Winchendon0***0***0***337**
Leominster19***78***529**2,033*

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
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments 1
Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution 0
Maintaining
Households With Internet Access 1
Increasing
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Voter Participation Rate -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 0
Maintaining
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Population by Age -1
Decreasing
Households by Type 0
Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
80/20 Income Ratio 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Age 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 0
Maintaining
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Employer Size 1
Increasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Self-Employment Revenue 0
Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County for Work 1
Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Preterm Births 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels -1
Decreasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Cancer Incidence 0
Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence -1
Decreasing
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 1
Increasing
Opioid Overdose Mortality Rate 1
Increasing
Children Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing





Loading...