Children & Youth
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2012-16


Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2012-16

What does this measure?

The proportion of single-parent families with children under 18 in various racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

Children in single-parent families are far more likely to grow up in low-income households than those living with two parents. They are at greater risk of low academic performance and behavioral problems and may experience parental conflict and residential instability as well. Throughout the nation, racial disparities across many indicators of well-being (including single parenthood) are persistent, troubling and in need of attention.

How is our county performing?

In 2012-16, 36% of white and nearly 60% of African American and Hispanic families in Berks County were single-parent families, as were 7% of Asian families. The rate increased for white families (up 9 percentage points) and Hispanic families (up 7 points). The county's rates were similar to rates in the state and nation, though nationally the rate for Hispanic families was lower (41%). Rates in Berks were also fairly comparable to surrounding counties.

Within Berks County, the City of Reading's rates were higher, with 56% of white and Hispanic families, 64% of African American families and 37% of Asian families headed by a single parent.

Notes about the data

For additional detail as to how the Berks County regions are defined and which boroughs and townships are included in each, see the About Us page.

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.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2012-16
AsianBlack or African/AmericanHispanicWhite
United States21%66%41%33%
Pennsylvania16%73%53%33%
Berks County7%******59%54%36%
Berks County Regions
Central15%******66%**55%50%
Northeast45%******32%
South2%******49%****60%**35%
Southeast78%******12%******30%
West31%******14%******42%******32%
Reading city37%******64%**56%56%
Berks County Peers
Chester County9%**65%32%25%
Lancaster County11%******57%55%28%
Lebanon County27%******62%****64%36%
Lehigh County3%******74%61%37%
Montgomery County9%59%44%27%
Schuylkill County35%******88%******39%****37%

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, 2012-16
AsianBlack or African/AmericanHispanicWhite
United States448,9713,554,4973,078,7879,374,438
Pennsylvania8,288132,09557,934387,794
Berks County50******1,5126,14215,019
Berks County Regions
Central27******986**4,7164,181
Northeast145******2,151
South7******386****1,058**4,507
Southeast122******18******1,958
West16******18******205******2,222
Reading city27******692**4,1893,075
Berks County Peers
Chester County380**2,3601,58614,331
Lancaster County137******1,6174,17315,480
Lebanon County56******250****1,3445,136
Lehigh County59******3,0537,55312,620
Montgomery County7836,5892,24422,665
Schuylkill County22******167******267****5,861

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.




Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2000
AsianBlack or African/AmericanHispanicWhite
United States15%59%32%23%
Pennsylvania16%70%46%27%
Berks County8%62%47%27%
Berks County Regions
Central9%62%50%45%
Northeast33%28%20%
South9%70%26%26%
Southeast64%20%
West33%5%48%22%
Reading city9%63%51%50%
Berks County Peers
Chester County12%60%26%20%
Lancaster County20%66%48%24%
Lebanon County21%35%53%28%
Lehigh County8%64%47%28%
Montgomery County14%59%39%22%
Schuylkill County70%32%30%

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, 2000
AsianBlack or African/AmericanHispanicWhite
United States212,8153,241,0351,722,0116,318,036
Pennsylvania4,987143,53526,485370,334
Berks County391,3142,68712,108
Berks County Regions
Central191,0142,4854,313
Northeast6271,520
South162431233,074
Southeast491,362
West42501,704
Reading city191,0012,4383,096
Berks County Peers
Chester County1722,64557611,047
Lancaster County2071,5592,10914,204
Lebanon County40595064,208
Lehigh County931,2252,50810,007
Montgomery County6835,91684219,984
Schuylkill County64315,376

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 | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population Ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Increasing
Local Government Spending Increasing
County Government Spending Decreasing
School District Spending Increasing
Quality Early Childhood Centers Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on High School Reading Increasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage by Household Type Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Decreasing
Managed Medicaid Enrollment Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Adults Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Children Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Youth Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Vacant Housing Units Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Maintaining
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Increasing
Tourism Spending Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income Increasing
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing