The (Poor) State of Black Families

Despite the progress African Americans have made on income and education, when it comes to marriage and families, the numbers are bleak.

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Nearly 10 million black families lived in the United States in 2007. Twenty-one percent of these families were married couples with children. This is the lowest for all racial groups. The U.S. average is 32.4 percent.

But nearly one-third of these families were single mothers with children under 18. The U.S. average is 12.1 percent.

Slightly less than 20 percent of black families were grandparents raising their grandchildren. The U.S. average is 10 percent.

No surprise then that slightly more than half of black kids live with only one parent and that's overwhelmingly with their mother. A home headed by a single mom often equals an economically poor home.

Historical Look

In 1960, the proportion of black children living with a single parent was 20 percent. By 1970, that number had grown to 30 percent. The numbers for intact families slid throughout the 1970s. Black families started crumbling in the 1980s.

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