Children & Youth
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2011-15


Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity, 2011-15

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 2011-15, 31% of white and nearly 60% of African American and Hispanic families in Berks County were single-parent families, as were 11% of Asian families. The rate increased for white families (up 9 percentage points) and Hispanic families (up 6 points). The county's rates were similar to rates in the state and nation, though nationally the rate for Hispanic families was lower (40%). Rates in Berks were also fairly comparable to surrounding counties.

Within Berks County, the City of Reading's rates were higher, with 61% of white 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 2011-15 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, 2011-15
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States17%64%40%30%
Pennsylvania15%70%56%29%
Berks County11%******58%57%31%
Berks County Regions
Central26%******68%**60%53%
Northeast0%******0%******43%******25%
South4%******43%****46%**25%
Southeast0%******46%******9%******22%
West37%******36%******46%******25%
Reading city38%******68%**62%61%
Berks County Peers
Chester County4%****61%35%19%
Lancaster County9%******60%58%23%
Lebanon County31%******58%****66%30%
Lehigh County9%******65%57%30%
Montgomery County9%**52%41%20%
Schuylkill County46%******88%******52%****34%

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, 2011-15
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States334,9993,311,8112,947,6527,881,195
Pennsylvania7,840120,10461,933322,477
Berks County82******1,5807,20412,266
Berks County Regions
Central47******1,190**6,2384,808
Northeast0******0******102******1,607
South19******285****653**2,954
Southeast0******51******11******1,343
West16******54******200******1,554
Reading city22******1,040**5,8103,795
Berks County Peers
Chester County170****2,0021,72210,047
Lancaster County125******1,7544,08812,235
Lebanon County57******265****1,5324,026
Lehigh County167******2,1916,5989,467
Montgomery County769**4,8471,94115,689
Schuylkill County26******106******334****5,110

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%
Pennsylvania14%67%49%22%
Berks County11%59%51%22%
Berks County Regions
Central9%61%54%39%
Northeast0%33%18%15%
South15%64%22%19%
Southeast0%52%0%15%
West33%3%38%17%
Reading city9%62%55%47%
Berks County Peers
Chester County8%55%24%14%
Lancaster County15%63%50%18%
Lebanon County12%45%56%23%
Lehigh County7%62%50%23%
Montgomery County10%51%34%15%
Schuylkill County0%63%45%26%

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
Pennsylvania4,058124,63229,894286,256
Berks County511,1983,1038,831
Berks County Regions
Central199782,9513,477
Northeast06161,062
South271831012,029
Southeast0300951
West41331,229
Reading city199652,9152,695
Berks County Peers
Chester County1092,1325237,441
Lancaster County1481,3342,25510,196
Lebanon County20895793,227
Lehigh County811,1242,8227,446
Montgomery County4724,32769012,740
Schuylkill County048554,404

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
Occupied 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