More and more children in the U.S. are being raised by single parents at a rate that far exceeds those of other developed countries.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that 25.8 percent of American children were being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 14.9 percent in 27 other industrialized countries. Ireland (24.3) and New Zealand (23.7) followed closely behind the U.S., while countries like Spain, Italy and Luxembourg had among the lowest percentages of children raised by single parents.
Experts say that a cultural shift toward a greater acceptance of single parents could be to blame. However, despite the growing number of single-parent households, the U.S. still lacks policies that support families, including child care at work and national paid maternity leave, which have become commonplace among other countries.
Childhood poverty rates in the U.S. are also expected to climb — to 23.5 percent from 20 percent. William Adema, senior economist in the OECD's social-policy division, said the rise is a direct result of the financial crisis and higher unemployment rates.
Sadly, a household led by single parents is nothing new in the black community. Times are changing, and women are more than capable of holding down the home, but the government needs to do a better job supporting working single mothers and their children. We could definitely stand to learn something from European countries that seem to have this idea down pat.
Read more at the Atlanta Journal.