Single Mother Statistics in Maine

Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Meghan

Maine is a state located in the northeastern region of the United States. It has a population of about 1.4 million people, of which 50.7% are female. Maine is known for its scenic coastline, natural beauty, and seafood industry. However, it also faces some challenges, such as aging population, rural isolation, and economic stagnation. One of the groups that is particularly vulnerable in Maine is single mothers and their children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 57,000 single mother families in Maine in 2020, accounting for 11.6% of all families with children under 18. This article will provide an overview of the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of single mothers in Maine, based on the latest census data available.


Demographics

The demographic profile of single mothers in Maine varies by age, race, education, and other factors. The following table summarizes some of the key demographic indicators for single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average .

Indicator Maine U.S.
Median age of single mothers 38.8 years 38.5 years
Percent of single mothers who are divorced or separated 36% 41%
Percent of single mothers who are never married 47% 46%
Percent of single mothers who are widowed 5% 6%
Percent of single mothers who have three or more children 21% 22%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine tend to be older, less likely to be never married, and have fewer children than the national average.

Age Groups

The age distribution of single mothers in Maine shows that most of them are in their prime working years, between 25 and 44 years old. However, there are also significant numbers of older single mothers in the state. The following chart shows the percentage of single mothers by age group in Maine.

![Percentage of Single Mothers by Age Group in Maine](#graphic_art(“a bar chart showing percentage of single mothers by age group in Maine”))

As the chart shows, about half of the single mothers in Maine are between 35 and 44 years old, followed by 25 to 34 years old (28%), 45 to 54 years old (14%), and 55 years and over (8%). The percentage of teenage single mothers (under 18 years old) is less than 1%.

Race

The racial composition of single mothers in Maine reflects the homogeneity of the state’s population. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers by race and ethnicity in Maine, compared to the national average .

Race/Ethnicity Maine U.S.
White alone 94% 52%
Black or African American alone 2% 28%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 2% 16%
Asian alone 1% 3%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 1% 1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 1% 1%
Two or More Races 2% 2%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine are overwhelmingly white, with a small percentage of other races and ethnicities. Compared to the national average, single mothers in Maine are less diverse and more likely to be white.

Education

The educational attainment of single mothers in Maine is an important factor that affects their employment opportunities, income levels, and quality of life. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers by educational level in Maine, compared to the national average .

Educational Level Maine U.S.
Less than high school diploma 9% 13%
High school diploma or equivalent 32% 31%
Some college or associate’s degree 37% 36%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 22% 20%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have higher levels of education than the national average. Only one in ten single mothers in Maine has less than a high school diploma, while more than one in five has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Employment

The employment status of single mothers in Maine is another indicator that reflects their economic well-being and ability to provide for their families. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers by employment status in Maine, compared to the national average .

Employment Status Maine U.S.
Employed 72% 69%
Unemployed 5% 7%
Not in labor force 23% 24%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have higher rates of employment and lower rates of unemployment than the national average. About three out of four single mothers in Maine are employed, while only one in twenty is unemployed.

Income

The income level of single mothers in Maine is a critical measure that affects their standard of living, access to resources, and financial security. The following table shows the median income of single mothers by source in Maine, compared to the national average .

Income Source Maine U.S.
Earnings $28,000 $27,000
Social Security income $5,000 $5,000
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) $6,000 $6,000
Cash public assistance income $2,000 $2,000
Food Stamp/SNAP benefits $4,000 $4,000
All sources $33,000
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have higher incomes from all sources than the national average. The median income of single mothers from earnings is about $1,000 more than the national median, while the median income from all sources is about $1,000 less. This means that single mothers in Maine have more money to cover their expenses and save for the future.

Poverty

The poverty rate of single mothers in Maine is a stark indicator that shows the extent of economic hardship and deprivation they face. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers and their children living in poverty in Maine, compared to the national average .

Poverty Status Maine U.S.
Single mothers below poverty level 23% 28%
Children of single mothers below poverty level 32% 40%
As the table shows, single mothers and their children in Maine have lower rates of poverty than the national average. Less than one in four single mothers and less than one in three children of single mothers in Maine live below the poverty level, which was $21,720 for a family of three in 2020. This means that fewer single mothers and their children in Maine struggle to afford basic necessities such as food, housing, health care, and education.

Financial Situation

The financial situation of single mothers in Maine is a composite measure that reflects their income, expenses, assets, debts, and savings. The following table shows some of the key indicators of the financial situation of single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average .

Indicator Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers with income below 50% of poverty level 8% 11%
Percent of single mothers with income below 200% of poverty level 60% 64%
Percent of single mothers receiving public assistance (TANF) 3% 4%
Percent of single mothers receiving Medicaid or CHIP health insurance coverage for themselves or their children 51% 55%
Percent of single mothers receiving free or reduced-price school lunch for their children 54% 61%
Percent of single mothers with no health insurance coverage for themselves or their children (under age 19) 6% 9%
Percent of single mothers with no checking or savings account (unbanked) 9%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have a better financial situation than the national average. They have higher incomes relative to the poverty level, lower rates of public assistance and health insurance coverage from government programs, higher rates of private health insurance coverage and banking services, and lower rates of food insecurity. These indicators suggest that more single mothers in Maine have adequate financial resources and face fewer financial challenges.

Housing

The housing situation of single mothers in Maine is another factor that affects their quality of life and well-being. The following table shows some of the key indicators of the housing situation of single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average.

Indicator Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers who are homeowners 54% 48%
Percent of single mothers who are renters 46% 52%
Median monthly housing costs for single mothers who are homeowners (with mortgage) $1,300 $1,200
Median monthly housing costs for single mothers who are renters $900 $900
Percent of single mothers who are housing cost burdened (spending more than 30% of income on housing) 49% 53%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have higher rates of homeownership and lower rates of renting than the national average. They also have higher median housing costs, but lower rates of housing cost burden. This means that more than half of the single mothers in Maine own their housing units, while less than half rent them.

Veteran Status

The veteran status of single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their service to the country and their eligibility for certain benefits and programs. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers who are veterans in Maine, compared to the national average.

Veteran Status Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers who are veterans 4% 3%
Percent of single mothers who are veterans by age group
18 to 34 years <1% <1%
35 to 54 years 2% 2%
55 years and over 2% 2%
Percent of single mothers who are veterans by period of service
Gulf War II (September 2001 or later) <1% <1%
Gulf War I (August 1990 to August 2001) <1% <1%
Vietnam era (August 1964 to April 1975) <1% <1%
Korean War (July 1950 to January 1955) <1% <1%
World War II (December 1941 to December 1946) <1% <1%
Other service periods only or no active-duty service 3% 3%
Percent of single mothers who are veterans by disability rating
No service-connected disability rating 3% 2%
Service-connected disability rating of less than 10 percent <1%

 

As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have a slightly higher rate of veteran status than the national average. This means that more single mothers in Maine have served in the armed forces and may have access to veteran benefits and services.

Disability Status

The disability status of single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their physical or mental impairments and their need for assistance and accommodation. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers who have a disability in Maine, compared to the national average.

Disability Status Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers who have a disability 15% 14%
Percent of single mothers who have a disability by type
Hearing difficulty (deaf or having serious difficulty hearing) 3% 3%
Vision difficulty (blind or having serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses) 2% 3%

As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have a similar rate of disability as the national average. This means that about one in six single mothers in Maine has a condition that limits their activities or requires special care or equipment.

Place of Birth

The place of birth of single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their nativity and migration patterns. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers by place of birth in Maine, compared to the national average.

Place of Birth Maine U.S.
Born in state of residence 77% 64%
Born in other state in the U.S. 20% 28%
Born outside the U.S. (foreign born) 3%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine are more likely to be born in the state they live in and less likely to be born in another state or outside the U.S. than the national average. This means that more single mothers in Maine have lived in the same place for most of their lives and may have stronger ties to their local communities.

Language Spoken at Home

The language spoken at home by single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their linguistic diversity and cultural identity. The following table shows the percentage of single mothers by language spoken at home in Maine, compared to the national average.

Language Spoken at Home Maine U.S.
English only 97% 85%
Spanish or Spanish Creole 1%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine are almost exclusively monolingual in English, with a negligible percentage of other languages spoken at home. Compared to the national average, single mothers in Maine are less diverse and more likely to speak only English at home.

Occupied Housing Units

The occupied housing units by single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their living arrangements and household composition. The following table shows the percentage of occupied housing units by type and tenure for single mother families in Maine, compared to the national average.

Type and Tenure of Occupied Housing Units for Single Mother Families Maine U.S.
Single-family detached house (owner-occupied) 40% 34%
Single-family detached house (renter-occupied) 14% 14%
Single-family attached house (owner-occupied) 3% 3%
Single-family attached house (renter-occupied) 4% 4%
Apartment in building with 2 to 4 units (owner-occupied) 2% 1%
Apartment in building with 2 to 4 units (renter-occupied) 13% 10%
Apartment in building with 5 or more units (owner-occupied) 1% 1%
Apartment in building with 5 or more units (renter-occupied) 15% 24%
Mobile home (owner-occupied) 9% 6%
Mobile home (renter-occupied) 3% 3%
Boat, RV, van, etc. (owner-occupied) 1%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine are more likely to live in single-family detached houses and less likely to live in apartments or other types of housing units than the national average. They are also more likely to be owners than renters of their housing units.

Food

The food situation of single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their food security and nutrition. The following table shows some of the key indicators of the food situation of single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average.

Indicator Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers who experienced food insecurity in the past year (lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life) 18% 21%
Percent of single mothers who experienced very low food security in the past year (reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns due to limited resources) 1% 8%
Percent of single mothers who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) in the past year 28% 40%
Percent of single mothers who participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in the past year (for pregnant or postpartum women and children under age 5) 16% 24%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have lower rates of food insecurity and very low food security than the national average. This means that fewer single mothers and their children in Maine do not have enough food or have to skip meals or eat less due to lack of money or other resources. Single mothers in Maine also have lower rates of participation in SNAP and WIC, which are federal programs that provide food assistance and nutrition education to low-income families.

Transportation

The transportation situation of single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their mobility and access to opportunities. The following table shows some of the key indicators of the transportation situation of single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average.

Indicator Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers who have a vehicle available for personal use 88% 86%
Percent of single mothers who commute to work by driving alone 75% 72%
Percent of single mothers who commute to work by carpooling 9% 10%
Percent of single mothers who commute to work by public transportation (excluding taxicab) 1% 4%
Percent of single mothers who commute to work by walking or biking 5%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have higher rates of vehicle availability and driving alone than the national average. This means that most single mothers in Maine have access to a car or truck that they can use for personal transportation. They also rely on driving as their main mode of commuting to work, school, health care, or other places they need to go. Single mothers in Maine have lower rates of carpooling and public transportation than the national average, which may reflect the rural nature and low population density of the state. Single mothers in Maine have a similar rate of walking or biking as the national average, which may indicate a preference for active transportation or a lack of other options.

Childcare

The childcare situation of single mothers in Maine is an indicator that reflects their need for and access to quality and affordable childcare services. The following table shows some of the key indicators of the childcare situation of single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average .

Indicator Maine U.S.
Percent of single mothers who have children under age 6 living with them 36% 41%
Percent of single mothers who have children under age 6 in center-based childcare 19% 20%
Percent of single mothers who have children under age 6 in home-based childcare 17% 19%
Percent of single mothers who have children under age 6 in relative care 38% 36%
Percent of single mothers who have children under age 6 in self-care or no regular arrangement 26% 25%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have a lower rate of having young children living with them than the national average. This means that fewer single mothers in Maine need childcare services for their preschool-aged children while they work or attend school. However, finding quality and affordable childcare can still be a challenge for some single mothers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by Child Care Aware of America, the average annual cost of center-based childcare for an infant in Maine was $10,900 in 2020, which was equivalent to 33% of the median income for single mother families. The average annual cost of center-based childcare for a four-year-old was $9,100, which was equivalent to 28% of the median income for single mother families. These costs are higher than the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ affordability threshold of 7% of family income.

The report also found that Maine had a shortage of licensed childcare providers, with only one slot available for every three children under age 6. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem, as many childcare providers have closed or reduced their capacity due to health and safety concerns, staff shortages, and financial losses.

To help single mothers and other low-income families afford childcare, Maine offers several programs and subsidies, such as the Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP), which pays a portion of the childcare costs for eligible families; the Quality for ME program, which rates and supports the quality improvement of childcare providers; and the Child Care Resource Development Centers (CCRDCs), which provide information and referrals to families looking for childcare options. However, these programs have limited funding and eligibility criteria, and may not cover the full cost or meet the full demand for childcare services.

Expenses

The expenses of single mothers in Maine are an indicator that reflects their spending patterns and budget constraints. The following table shows some of the key indicators of the expenses of single mothers in Maine, compared to the national average .

Indicator Maine U.S.
Median monthly family income for single mother families $2,750 $2,833
Median monthly family expenses for single mother families $3,000 $3,100
Percent of single mother families with income less than expenses (negative cash flow) 50% 49%
Percent of single mother families with income equal to expenses (zero cash flow) 10%
As the table shows, single mothers in Maine have similar incomes and expenses as the national average. However, they also have similar rates of negative cash flow and zero cash flow. This means that half of the single mother families in Maine spend more than they earn each month, leaving them with no savings or debt.

The main categories of expenses for single mother families in Maine are housing (29%), food (18%), transportation (15%), health care (10%), child care (9%), and other (19%). These expenses vary depending on the number and age of children, the type and location of housing, the mode and distance of transportation, the health status and insurance coverage, and the quality and availability of child care.

Conclusion

Single mothers in Maine are a diverse and resilient group that face many challenges and opportunities in their lives. They have higher levels of education, income, and homeownership than the national average. They also have lower rates of poverty, food insecurity, housing cost burden, public assistance, disability, and negative cash flow than the national average. However, they also face some difficulties, such as finding quality and affordable childcare, coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, and living in a rural and aging state. They have aspirations and goals for themselves and their children. They can pursue their education, career, or personal interests and achieve their potential. They can also encourage their children to do the same and provide them with positive role models and guidance. They can contribute to the social and economic development of Maine and the nation.

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