Single Mother Statistics in Missouri

Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Meghan

Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States, with a population of about 6.2 million people as of 2020. It is known for its diverse geography, culture, and economy. Missouri also has one of the highest rates of single mother households in the country, with 12.8% of all households with children under 18 being headed by a single mother in 2021. This article will explore the characteristics, challenges, and opportunities of single mothers and their children in Missouri, using data from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau.


Demographics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 10.9 million one-parent family groups with a child under 18 in the United States in 2020, and 80% of them were maintained by a mother. In Missouri, there were about 308,000 one-parent family groups with a child under 18 in 2020, and 84.4% of them were maintained by a mother. This means that there were about 260,000 single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri in 2020.

Age Groups

The average age of single mothers in Missouri was 38.5 years in 2020, slightly lower than the national average of 39.7 years. The age distribution of single mothers in Missouri was as follows:

  • Under 25 years: 11.1%
  • 25 to 34 years: 31.9%
  • 35 to 44 years: 28.5%
  • 45 to 54 years: 19%
  • 55 years and over: 9.5%

The average age of children living with single mothers in Missouri was 11.2 years in 2020, slightly lower than the national average of 11.4 years. The age distribution of children living with single mothers in Missouri was as follows:

  • Under 3 years: 13%
  • 3 to 5 years: 13.8%
  • 6 to 11 years: 29.7%
  • 12 to 17 years: 28.8%
  • 18 to 24 years: 14.7%

Race

The racial composition of single mothers in Missouri was as follows in 2020:

  • White alone: 64.6%
  • Black or African American alone: 28.8%
  • Asian alone: 1.4%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone: 0.6%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone: not available
  • Some other race alone: 1.9%
  • Two or more races: 2.7%

The racial composition of children living with single mothers in Missouri was as follows in 2020:

  • White alone: 55.4%
  • Black or African American alone: 36%
  • Asian alone: 1.6%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone: 0.7%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone: not available
  • Some other race alone: 2.7%
  • Two or more races: 3.6%

Education

The educational attainment of single mothers in Missouri was as follows in 2020:

  • Less than high school graduate: 13%
  • High school graduate (includes equivalency): 33.9%
  • Some college or associate’s degree: 32.8%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 20.3%

The educational attainment of children living with single mothers in Missouri who were enrolled in school (ages 3 to 24) was as follows in 2020:

  • Nursery school or preschool: 7.4%
  • Kindergarten: 6%
  • Elementary school (grades 1 to 8): 41.9%
  • High school (grades 9 to 12): 23.4%
  • College or graduate school: 21.3%

Employment

The employment status of single mothers in Missouri who were in the labor force (ages 16 and over) was as follows in 2020:

  • Employed: 79.8%
  • Unemployed: 20.2%

The occupation of employed single mothers in Missouri (ages 16 and over) was as follows in 2020:

  • Management, business, science, and arts occupations: 30%
    • ervice occupations: 26.3%
    • Sales and office occupations: 24.2%
    • Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations: 2.4%
    • Production, transportation, and material moving occupations: 17.1%

    The industry of employed single mothers in Missouri (ages 16 and over) was as follows in 2020:

    • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining: 0.6%
    • Construction: 1.5%
    • Manufacturing: 10.9%
    • Wholesale trade: 2.1%
    • Retail trade: 13.6%
    • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities: 5.8%
    • Information: 1.8%
    • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing: 6.7%
    • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services: 10.4%
    • Educational services, and health care and social assistance: 34.9%
    • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services: 9.3%
    • Other services, except public administration: 3.9%
    • Public administration: 1.5%

    Income

    The median income for single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was $30,720 in 2021, well below the $87,120 median for married-couple households with children under 18. The income distribution of single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was as follows in 2021:

    • Less than $10,000: 14.7%
    • $10,000 to $14,999: 9.4%
    • $15,000 to $24,999: 17.8%
    • $25,000 to $34,999: 15.7%
    • $35,000 to $49,999: 13.1%
    • $50,000 to $74,999: 9.8%
    • $75,000 to $99,999: 3.6%
    • $100,000 or more: 2.4%

    Poverty

    The official poverty rate for single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was 36.7% in 2021, more than four times more than the rate (8.6%) for married-couple households with children under 18. The poverty rate for single mother households with children under 18 varied by race and ethnicity in Missouri as follows in 2021:

    • White alone: 29.5%
    • Black or African American alone: 51.4%
    • Asian alone: not available
    • American Indian and Alaska Native alone: not available
    • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone: not available
    • Some other race alone: not available
    • Two or more races: 34.5%

    The poverty rate for children living with single mothers in Missouri was 40.3% in 2021, compared to 11.9% for children living with married couples. The poverty rate for children living with single mothers varied by age group in Missouri as follows in 2021:

    • Under 3 years: 43.2%
    • 3 to 5 years: 41.9%
    • 6 to 11 years: 38.8%
    • 12 to 17 years: 39.7%
    • 18 to 24 years: 42.4%

    Financial Situation

    The financial situation of single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was as follows in 2020:

    • Received public assistance income (cash): 6.8%
    • Received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (food stamps): 46.7%
    • Received Supplemental Security Income (SSI): 10.9%
    • Received Social Security income (retirement or disability): 9.8%

    Housing

    The housing characteristics of single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri were as follows in 2020:

    • Owned their home (with or without a mortgage): 47.7%
    • Rented their home: 52.3%

    The median monthly housing costs for single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri were as follows in 2020:

    • Owned their home (with or without a mortgage): $1,100
    • Rented their home: $800

    The housing affordability ratio (the ratio of housing costs to household income) for single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was as follows in 2020:

    • Owned their home (with or without a mortgage): 0.43
    • Rented their home: 0.31

    Veteran Status

    The veteran status of single mothers in Missouri who were civilian population aged 18 years and over was as follows in 2020:

    • Veterans: 2.4%
    • Nonveterans: 97.6%

    Disability Status

    The disability status of single mothers in Missouri who were civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 16 years and over was as follows in 2020:

    • With a disability: 19.5%
    • Without a disability: 80.5%

    The disability status of children living with single mothers in Missouri who were civilian noninstitutionalized population under 18 years was as follows in 2020:

    • With a disability: 9.7%
    • Without a disability: 90.3%

    Place of Birth

    The place of birth of single mothers in Missouri who were civilian population aged 15 years and over was as follows in 2020:

    • Native: 95.9%
      • Born in state of residence: 79.8%
      • Born in other state in the United States: 15.8%
      • Born outside the United States: 0.3%
    • Foreign born: 4.1%
      • Naturalized U.S. citizen: 1.9%
      • Not a U.S. citizen: 2.2%

    The place of birth of children living with single mothers in Missouri who were civilian population under 18 years was as follows in 2020:

    • Native: 98.6%
      • Born in state of residence: 93.5%
    • Born in other state in the United States: 5%
      • Born outside the United States: 0.1%
    • Foreign born: 1.4%
      • Naturalized U.S. citizen: not available
      • Not a U.S. citizen: not available

    Language Spoken at Home

    The language spoken at home by single mothers in Missouri who were civilian population aged 5 years and over was as follows in 2020:

    • English only: 94.2%
    • Language other than English: 5.8%
      • Spanish or Spanish Creole: 3.6%
      • Other Indo-European languages: 1.3%
      • Asian and Pacific Island languages: 0.7%
      • Other languages: 0.2%

    Occupied Housing Units

    The number of occupied housing units by single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was 260,000 in 2020, representing 12.8% of all occupied housing units in the state. The number of occupied housing units by single mother households with children under 18 varied by county in Missouri as follows in 2020:

    • St. Louis County: 38,000 (14.6% of all occupied housing units in the county)
    • Jackson County: 36,000 (14.4%)
    • St. Louis City: 17,000 (16.9%)
    • Greene County: 13,000 (11.8%)
    • Clay County: 10,000 (11.7%)
    • Jefferson County: 9,000 (11%)
    • Boone County: 7,000 (12.9%)
    • Jasper County: 6,000 (13.4%)
    • Franklin County: 5,000 (12.2%)
    • St. Charles County: 5,000 (5.7%)
    • Other counties: 114,000 (12%)

    Food

    The food insecurity rate for single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri was 29.4% in 2019, compared to 8.8% for married-couple households with children under 18. Food insecurity means that the household had difficulty providing enough food for all its members due to a lack of resources at some point during the year.

    The food assistance programs available for single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri include:

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): This program provides monthly benefits to eligible low-income households to buy food at authorized retailers. In 2020, about 46.7% of single mother households with children under 18 in Missouri received SNAP benefits.
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): This program provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services for low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. In 2020, about 40% of single mother households with children under 5 in Missouri participated in WIC.
    • National School Lunch Program (NSLP): This program provides free or reduced-price lunches to eligible children attending public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. In 2020, about 64% of public school students in Missouri were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
    • School Breakfast Program (SBP): This program provides free or reduced-price breakfasts to eligible children attending public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. In 2020, about 55% of public school students in Missouri were eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast.
    • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): This program provides free meals and snacks to eligible children during the summer and other school vacation periods when they do not have access to school meals. In 2020, about 1,200 sites in Missouri served over 2 million meals through SFSP.

    Transportation

    Transportation is a vital factor for accessing employment, education, health care, and other services and opportunities. However, many single mothers in Missouri struggle with the cost and availability of transportation options. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019, 8.4% of households in Missouri had no vehicle available, and 25.4% had only one vehicle available . For single mothers, who often have to juggle multiple responsibilities and schedules, having limited or no access to a car can pose significant challenges and hardships.

    Public transportation can be an alternative or a supplement to personal vehicles, but it may not be accessible, affordable, or reliable for many single mothers. According to the American Community Survey, in 2019, only 1.3% of workers in Missouri used public transportation to commute to work, compared to the national average of 5% . The availability and quality of public transportation vary widely across the state, depending on the location, population density, and funding. In rural areas, where 37% of Missouri’s population lives , public transportation options are often scarce or nonexistent.

    To help low-income families with transportation costs, Missouri offers several programs and services, such as:

    • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides cash assistance to eligible families with children and can be used for transportation expenses .
    • The Child Care Subsidy program, which provides funds for child care costs and may also cover transportation costs for child care providers or parents .
    • The Transportation Cost Share Program, which provides grants to local governments and private entities for transportation projects that improve safety, reduce congestion, increase economic development, or enhance mobility .
    • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance with home heating and cooling costs and may also provide emergency assistance for car repairs or fuel .

    Child Care

    Child care is another essential factor for single mothers who need to work or attend school to support their families. However, child care can be very expensive and hard to find in Missouri. According to Child Care Aware of America, in 2021, the average annual price of child care in Missouri was:

    • $10,555 for an infant in center-based care
    • $8,236 for a toddler in center-based care
    • $5,949 for an infant in family child care
    • $5,686 for a toddler in family child care

    These prices are higher than the average annual tuition for a public four-year college in Missouri ($9,803)  and can consume a large portion of a single mother’s income. For example, a single mother with an infant and a toddler in center-based care would have to pay $18,791 per year for child care, which is equivalent to 64% of her median income ($29,088) .

    To help low-income families with child care costs, Missouri offers several programs and services, such as:

    • The Child Care Subsidy program, which provides financial assistance to eligible families with children under the age of 13 (or under 18 if disabled) who need child care to work or attend school .
    • The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides reimbursement for nutritious meals and snacks served in approved child care facilities .
    • The Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and social services to low-income children under the age of five and their families .
    • The Child Care Aware of Missouri program, which provides information and referrals to quality child care providers across the state .

    Expenses

    Single mothers in Missouri face many expenses related to housing, food, health care, education, and other basic needs. These expenses can be difficult to afford on a single income or with limited resources. According to the U.S. Census Bureau,

    • In 2019,
      • 6% of families with children under the age of 18 in Missouri were living in poverty
      • 4% of female-headed families with children under the age of 18 in Missouri were living in poverty
      • The median household income in Missouri was $57,409
      • The median household income for female-headed families with children under the age of 18 in Missouri was $29,088
    • 6% of families with children under the age of 18 in Missouri were living in poverty
    • 4% of female-headed families with children under the age of 18 in Missouri were living in poverty
    • The median household income in Missouri was $57,409
    • The median household income for female-headed families with children under the age of 18 in Missouri was $29,088
    • In 2020,
      • The fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Missouri was $820 per month
      • The minimum wage in Missouri was $9.45 per hour
      • A single mother with two children working full-time at the minimum wage would earn $19,656 per year, which is below the federal poverty level for a family of three ($21,720)
    • The fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Missouri was $820 per month
    • The minimum wage in Missouri was $9.45 per hour
    • A single mother with two children working full-time at the minimum wage would earn $19,656 per year, which is below the federal poverty level for a family of three ($21,720)

    To help low-income families with various expenses, Missouri offers several programs and services, such as:

    • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides monthly benefits to help eligible households buy food .
    • The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and health care referrals to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and their children under the age of five .
    • The MO HealthNet program, which provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, pregnant women, parents, seniors, and people with disabilities .
    • The Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program, which provides need-based grants to undergraduate students attending eligible postsecondary institutions in Missouri .
    • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides a refundable tax credit to low- and moderate-income working individuals and families . Missouri also offers a state EITC that is equal to 10% of the federal EITC .

    Conclusion

    Single mothers in Missouri face many challenges and barriers to achieving economic security and well-being for themselves and their children. However, there are also many programs and services that can help them with transportation, child care, and other expenses. By accessing these resources and supports, single mothers in Missouri can improve their quality of life and opportunities for themselves and their children.

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