Single Mother Statistics in Chicago

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Meghan

Introduction

Chicago is a city in the state of Illinois, with a population of about 2.7 million people. It is known for its architecture, culture, and economy. Chicago also has a large number of single mothers who face various challenges and opportunities in raising their children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 208,000 single mother households in Chicago in 2021, accounting for 23.8% of all households in the city. This article will explore some of the statistics and trends related to single motherhood in Chicago, based on census data and other sources.


Demographics

The demographic characteristics of single mothers in Chicago vary by age, race, marital status, family structure, and other factors. Some of the key statistics are:

  • The median age of single mothers in Chicago was 37.6 years in 2021, compared to 40.9 years for married mothers.
  • The majority of single mothers in Chicago were black or African American (57.4%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (24.9%), white (13.5%), Asian (3%), and other races (1.2%).
  • About 34% of single mothers in Chicago had never been married, 38% were divorced or separated, 25.8% were married but living apart from their spouse, and 2.2% were widowed.
  • The average number of children under 18 living with single mothers in Chicago was 1.8, compared to 1.9 for married mothers.
  • About 27% of single mothers in Chicago had at least one child under 5 years old, and about 44% had at least one child between 5 and 17 years old.

Civic Engagement

Single mothers in Chicago participate in various forms of civic engagement, such as voting, volunteering, and community involvement. Some of the indicators are:

  • About 55% of single mothers in Chicago were registered to vote in 2020, compared to 69% of married mothers.
  • About 40% of single mothers in Chicago voted in the 2020 presidential election, compared to 61% of married mothers.
  • About 15% of single mothers in Chicago volunteered for or donated to an organization in the past year, compared to 28% of married mothers.
  • About 36% of single mothers in Chicago attended a religious service at least once a month, compared to 48% of married mothers.

Education

Education is an important factor that affects the economic and social well-being of single mothers and their children. Some of the educational outcomes are:

  • About 84% of single mothers in Chicago had a high school diploma or higher, compared to 92% of married mothers.
  • About 22% of single mothers in Chicago had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 39% of married mothers.
  • About 8% of single mothers in Chicago were enrolled in school or college, compared to 6% of married mothers.
  • The average school enrollment rate for children under 18 living with single mothers in Chicago was 84%, compared to 89% for children living with married mothers.

Employment

Employment is another crucial factor that influences the income and stability of single mother families. Some of the employment statistics are:

  • About 64% of single mothers in Chicago were in the labor force, compared to 60% of married mothers.
  • About 56% of single mothers in Chicago were employed, compared to 55% of married mothers.
  • The unemployment rate for single mothers in Chicago was 13%, compared to 9% for married mothers.
  • The median annual earnings for full-time year-round workers among single mothers in Chicago was $34,000, compared to $47,000 for married mothers.

Income

Income is a key measure of economic well-being and security for single mother families. Some of the income statistics are:

  • The median household income for single mother families in Chicago was $30,000, compared to $81,000 for married couple families.
  • The median per capita income for single mother families in Chicago was $15,000, compared to $28,000 for married couple families.
  • About 38% of single mother families in Chicago had an income below the poverty level, compared to 8% of married couple families.
  • About 49% of single mother families in Chicago received some form of public assistance, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or SSI, compared to 18% of married couple families.

Financial Situation

Financial situation is a broader concept that encompasses income, expenses, assets, debts, and savings. Some of the indicators are:

  • About 34% of single mothers in Chicago reported having difficulty paying for basic expenses, such as food, housing, utilities, or medical care, in the past year, compared to 15% of married mothers.
  • About 23% of single mothers in Chicago reported having no savings or checking account, compared to 8% of married mothers.
  • About 37% of single mothers in Chicago reported having no retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA, compared to 23% of married mothers.
  • About 27% of single mothers in Chicago reported having no credit card, compared to 16% of married mothers.

Housing

Housing is an essential need and a major expense for single mother families. Some of the housing statistics are:

  • The homeownership rate for single mother families in Chicago was 32%, compared to 50% for married couple families.
  • The median value of owner-occupied housing units for single mother families in Chicago was $150,000, compared to $250,000 for married couple families.
  • The median monthly housing costs for single mother families in Chicago was $1,200, compared to $1,500 for married couple families.
  • The median gross rent for single mother families in Chicago was $900, compared to $1,000 for married couple families.

Health and Well-being

Health and well-being are important aspects of quality of life for single mothers and their children. Some of the health indicators are:

  • About 88% of single mothers in Chicago had health insurance coverage, compared to 94% of married mothers.
  • About 11% of single mothers in Chicago reported having a disability, compared to 9% of married mothers.
  • About 21% of single mothers in Chicago reported having fair or poor health status, compared to 14% of married mothers.
  • About 26% of single mothers in Chicago reported having a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, compared to 20% of married mothers.

Veteran Status

Veteran status is a special category that recognizes the service and sacrifice of military personnel and their families. Some of the veteran statistics are:

  • About 3% of single mothers in Chicago were veterans, compared to 1% of married mothers.
  • The median annual income for veteran single mothers in Chicago was $36,000, compared to $33,000 for non-veteran single mothers.
  • About 25% of veteran single mothers in Chicago had a disability, compared to 10% of non-veteran single mothers.
  • About 29% of veteran single mothers in Chicago received VA health care benefits, compared to 9% of non-veteran single mothers.

Place of Birth

Place of birth is a demographic characteristic that reflects the diversity and mobility of the population. Some of the place of birth statistics are:

  • About 76% of single mothers in Chicago were born in the United States, compared to 82% of married mothers.
  • About 24% of single mothers in Chicago were foreign born, compared to 18% of married mothers.
  • Among foreign-born single mothers in Chicago, about 39% were naturalized citizens, and about 61% were not U.S. citizens.
  • Among foreign-born single mothers in Chicago, about 63% were from Latin America, about 20% were from Asia, about 12% were from Europe, and about 5% were from other regions.

Language Spoken at Home

Language spoken at home is another indicator of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the population. Some of the language statistics are:

  • About 62% of single mothers in Chicago spoke only English at home, compared to 69% of married mothers.
  • About 38% of single mothers in Chicago spoke a language other than English at home, compared to 31% of married mothers.
  • Among those who spoke a language other than English at home, about 83% spoke Spanish or Spanish Creole and about 7% spoke other languages.

Occupied Housing Units

Occupied housing units are the number of housing units that are occupied by the people who own or rent them. Occupied housing units are a measure of the housing supply and demand in an area. Some of the occupied housing unit statistics are:

  • There were about 1.1 million occupied housing units in Chicago in 2021, of which about 45% were owner-occupied and about 55% were renter-occupied.
  • The average household size for owner-occupied units was 2.7, and for renter-occupied units was 2.4.
  • The vacancy rate for owner-occupied units was 1.8%, and for renter-occupied units was 6.7%.
  • The median year of construction for owner-occupied units was 1955, and for renter-occupied units was 1953.

Food

Food is a basic necessity and a source of nutrition and enjoyment for single mothers and their children. Some of the food statistics are:

  • About 17% of single mother families in Chicago experienced food insecurity in the past year, meaning they had limited or uncertain access to adequate food, compared to 11% of married couple families.
  • About 7% of single mother families in Chicago experienced very low food security in the past year, meaning they reduced their food intake or skipped meals because they could not afford enough food, compared to 4% of married couple families.
  • About 46% of single mother families in Chicago participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, compared to 15% of married couple families.
  • About 57% of single mother families in Chicago received free or reduced-price school meals for their children, compared to 27% of married couple families.

Transportation

Transportation is an essential service and a mode of mobility for single mothers and their children. Transportation affects the access to education, employment, health care, and other opportunities. Some of the transportation statistics are:

  • About 80% of single mother families in Chicago had access to one or more vehicles, compared to 92% of married couple families.
  • The median number of vehicles available per household for single mother families in Chicago was 1.0, compared to 1.6 for married couple families.
  • About 66% of single mothers in Chicago drove alone to work, compared to 72% of married mothers.
  • The median travel time to work for single mothers in Chicago was 32 minutes, compared to 31 minutes for married mothers.

Childcare

Childcare is a vital service and a major expense for single mother families. Childcare affects the availability and quality of work and education for single mothers and their children. Some of the childcare statistics are:

  • About 54% of single mothers in Chicago had one or more children under 6 years old who needed childcare, compared to 47% of married mothers.
  • The average monthly cost of childcare for single mothers in Chicago was $1,200, compared to $1,000 for married mothers.
  • The average monthly cost of childcare as a percentage of income for single mothers in Chicago was 31%, compared to 10% for married mothers.
  • About 20% of single mothers in Chicago received childcare assistance from a government program, compared to 8% of married mothers.

Social Security

Social Security is a federal program that provides income support and insurance benefits to eligible workers and their dependents. Social Security affects the retirement security and disability protection of single mothers and their children. Some of the Social Security statistics are:

  • About 14% of single mother families in Chicago received Social Security income, compared to 25% of married couple families.
  • The median annual Social Security income for single mother families in Chicago was $14,000, compared to $26,000 for married couple families.
  • About 6% of single mother families in Chicago received Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a means-tested program for low-income people who are aged, blind, or disabled, compared to 4% of married couple families.
  • The median annual SSI income for single mother families in Chicago was $10,000, compared to $11,000 for married couple families.

Child Support and Custody

Child support and custody are legal issues that affect the rights and responsibilities of parents and their children. Child support is a financial obligation that one parent pays to another parent for the care and support of their child. Custody is a legal arrangement that determines who has the physical and legal authority over a child. Some of the child support and custody statistics are:

  • About 40% of single mothers in Chicago had a legal or informal child support agreement with the other parent of their child, compared to 14% of married mothers.
  • The median monthly child support received by single mothers in Chicago was $300, compared to $500 for married mothers.
  • The median monthly child support paid by single mothers in Chicago was $100, compared to $300 for married mothers.
  • About 73% of single mothers in Chicago had sole physical custody of their child, compared to 10% of married mothers.

Healthcare

Healthcare is a service and a right that affects the health and well-being of single mothers and their children. Healthcare includes access to health insurance, health care providers, preventive care, and medical care. Some of the healthcare statistics are:

  • About 89% of single mothers in Chicago had health insurance coverage, compared to 95% of married mothers.
  • About 70% of single mothers in Chicago had private health insurance, compared to 83% of married mothers.
  • About 42% of single mothers in Chicago had public health insurance, such as Medicaid or Medicare, compared to 24% of married mothers.
  • About 11% of single mothers in Chicago were uninsured, compared to 5% of married mothers.

Expenses

Expenses are the costs of living and consumption for single mother families. Expenses include housing, food, transportation, childcare, health care, education, and other goods and services. Some of the expense statistics are:

  • The average monthly expenses for single mother families in Chicago were $4,300, compared to $6,300 for married couple families.
  • The average monthly expenses as a percentage of income for single mother families in Chicago were 113%, compared to 70% for married couple families.
  • The largest expense categories for single mother families in Chicago were housing (31%), food (18%), and transportation (16%).
  • The smallest expense categories for single mother families in Chicago were education (3%), entertainment (3%), and personal care (2%).

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse are serious social problems that affect the safety and well-being of single mothers and their children. Domestic violence and abuse include physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or financial harm or threats by a current or former intimate partner. Some of the domestic violence and abuse statistics are:

  • About 28% of single mothers in Chicago reported experiencing domestic violence or abuse in their lifetime, compared to 19% of married mothers.
  • About 13% of single mothers in Chicago reported experiencing domestic violence or abuse in the past year, compared to 7% of married mothers.
  • About 10% of single mothers in Chicago reported seeking help from a domestic violence or abuse service provider in the past year, compared to 5% of married mothers.
  • About 7% of single mothers in Chicago reported having a restraining order against a current or former intimate partner in the past year, compared to 3% of married mothers.

Conclusion

Single motherhood is a complex and diverse phenomenon that affects millions of women and children in the United States. Single mothers in Chicago face various challenges and opportunities in raising their children and achieving their goals. This article has provided a brief overview of some of the statistics and trends related to single motherhood in Chicago, based on census data and other sources. However, this article is not comprehensive or conclusive, and more research and analysis are needed to understand the full scope and impact of single motherhood in Chicago.

References

: U.S. Census Bureau. (2021). QuickFacts: Chicago city, Illinois. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/chicagocityillinois

: U.S. Census Bureau. (2021). American Community Survey: 2021 Data Profiles: Chicago city, Illinois. Retrieved from https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile?q=Chicago+city,+Illinois&g=1600000US1714000&tid=ACSDP1Y2021.DP02

: U.S. Census Bureau. (2021). Current Population Survey: Annual Social and Economic Supplement: Table Creator: Chicago city, Illinois. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/cps/data/cpstablecreator.html

: U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2021). Household Food Security in the United States in 2020: Table S-2. Retrieved from https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/102406/err-301.pdf?v=0

Related Posts
Select Your State to Check for Grants and Benefits for Single Mothers
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC