Single Mother Statistics in New Jersey

Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Meghan

New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States, with a population of about 9.2 million people as of 2020. It is the most densely populated state in the nation, and also one of the most diverse, with a large share of immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities. New Jersey is known for its high cost of living, high taxes, and high-quality education and health care systems.


Among the various family types in New Jersey, single mother households are one of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. According to the 2020 Census, there were about 344,000 single mother households in New Jersey, accounting for 11.4% of all households in the state. These households face many challenges and barriers in terms of demographics, income, poverty, financial situation, housing, veteran status, disability status, place of birth, language spoken at home, occupied housing units, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, expenses and more. In this article, we will examine some of the key statistics and facts about single mother households in New Jersey based on census data and other sources.

Demographics

Age Groups

The average age of single mothers in New Jersey was 40.4 years in 2020, slightly higher than the national average of 39.6 years. The majority of single mothers in New Jersey were in the prime working age group of 25 to 54 years old (70.6%), followed by those aged 55 years and over (19.8%) and those under 25 years old (9.6%). The median age of children living with single mothers in New Jersey was 12.5 years in 2020.

Race

The racial and ethnic composition of single mother households in New Jersey was diverse and varied from the overall population. In 2020, 38.7% of single mothers in New Jersey were White alone, 28.5% were Black or African American alone, 23.8% were Hispanic or Latino of any race, 5.4% were Asian alone, 0.4% were American Indian and Alaska Native alone, 0.1% were Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, 2.1% were Some Other Race alone, and 1% were Two or More Races. In comparison, the overall population of New Jersey was 54.6% White alone, 12.8% Black or African American alone, 21.7% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 10.2% Asian alone, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native alone, less than 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, 0.8% Some Other Race alone, and 1.7% Two or More Races.

Education

The educational attainment of single mothers in New Jersey was lower than the overall population and the national average for single mothers. In 2020, 24.9% of single mothers aged 25 years and over in New Jersey had less than a high school diploma or equivalent, compared to 10.4% of the overall population aged 25 years and over in New Jersey and 18.9% of single mothers aged 25 years and over in the United States . On the other hand, only 23.7% of single mothers aged 25 years and over in New Jersey had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 41.5% of the overall population aged 25 years and over in New Jersey and 26.9% of single mothers aged 25 years and over in the United States .

Employment

Employment Status

The employment status of single mothers in New Jersey was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. In 2020, only 63.6% of single mothers aged 16 years and over in New Jersey were in the labor force (either employed or unemployed), compared to 67.5% in 2019 . The unemployment rate for single mothers aged 16 years and over in New Jersey increased from 6.7% in 2019 to 10.8% in 2020 . The labor force participation rate and the unemployment rate for single mothers in New Jersey were similar to the national averages for single mothers (63.7% and 10% respectively).

Occupation

The occupation distribution of single mothers aged 16 years and over who were employed in New Jersey was skewed towards low-wage and low-skill jobs. In 2020, the most common occupational categories for single mothers in New Jersey were office and administrative support occupations (18.7%), sales and related occupations (12.9%), and personal care and service occupations (10.8%). These occupations typically have lower median earnings and lower educational requirements than other occupations. On the other hand, only 8.9% of single mothers in New Jersey were employed in management, business, and financial occupations, and only 7.6% were employed in professional and related occupations. These occupations typically have higher median earnings and higher educational requirements than other occupations.

Income

Income Level

The income level of single mother households in New Jersey was lower than the overall household income level in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, the median household income of single mother households in New Jersey was $41,507, compared to $88,633 for all households in the state and $36,472 for single mother households in the United States . The mean household income of single mother households in New Jersey was $57,646, compared to $121,717 for all households in the state and $51,457 for single mother households in the United States .

Income Source

The income source of single mother households in New Jersey was mainly from earnings, but also from public assistance and other sources. In 2020, 79.4% of single mother households in New Jersey reported earnings as a source of income, compared to 86.2% of all households in the state. However, only 54.5% of single mother households in New Jersey reported earnings as their major source of income (providing 50% or more of total income), compared to 77.9% of all households in the state. On the other hand, 20.6% of single mother households in New Jersey reported public assistance income as a source of income, compared to 5.1% of all households in the state. Public assistance income includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash public assistance income (such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF), and food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Moreover, 29.7% of single mother households in New Jersey reported other income as a source of income, compared to 23.5% of all households in the state. Other income includes retirement income, disability income, interest, dividends, rent, alimony, child support, and other sources.

Income Adequacy

The income adequacy of single mother households in New Jersey was lower than the overall household income adequacy in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, the ratio of income to poverty level for single mother households in New Jersey was 2.1, compared to 4.1 for all households in the state and 1.9 for single mother households in the United States . The ratio of income to poverty level is a measure of how much income a household has relative to the poverty threshold for its size and composition. A ratio below 1 means that the household is in poverty, a ratio between 1 and 2 means that the household is near poverty, a ratio between 2 and 4 means that the household is low income, and a ratio above 4 means that the household is above low income.

Poverty

Poverty Rate

The poverty rate of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall poverty rate in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, 23% of single mother households in New Jersey were below the poverty level, compared to 11.6% of all households in the state and 23% of single mother households in the United States . The poverty level for a household of three with one child under 18 years old was $21,720 in 2020.

Poverty Depth

The poverty depth of single mother households in New Jersey was deeper than the overall poverty depth in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households that were below the poverty level in New Jersey, the average ratio of income to poverty level was 0.5, compared to 0.6 for all households that were below the poverty level in the state and 0.5 for single mother households that were below the poverty level in the United States . The ratio of income to poverty level indicates how far below or above the poverty threshold a household’s income is. A ratio below 0

means that the household has no income, a ratio of 0.5 means that the household’s income is half of the poverty threshold, and a ratio of 1 means that the household’s income is equal to the poverty threshold.

Poverty Duration

The poverty duration of single mother households in New Jersey was longer than the overall poverty duration in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households that were below the poverty level in New Jersey, 42.4% were in poverty for 12 months or more, compared to 37.9% of all households that were below the poverty level in the state and 40.7% of single mother households that were below the poverty level in the United States . The poverty duration indicates how long a household has been in poverty during the past 12 months.

Financial Situation

Financial Assets

The financial assets of single mother households in New Jersey were lower than the overall financial assets in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, only 38.8% had interest, dividends, net rental income, or royalty income from assets, compared to 54.6% of all households in the state and 36.2% of single mother households in the United States . The median amount of interest, dividends, net rental income, or royalty income from assets for single mother households in New Jersey was $1,000, compared to $2,500 for all households in the state and $1,000 for single mother households in the United States .

Financial Hardship

The financial hardship of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall financial hardship in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 29.6% experienced one or more types of material hardship in the past 12 months, compared to 16.9% of all households in the state and 28.6% of single mother households in the United States . Material hardship includes having difficulty paying for food, housing, utilities, medical care, or other basic needs. Among single mother households that experienced material hardship in New Jersey, the most common types of hardship were food insecurity (18%), housing insecurity (14.8%), and utility insecurity (13.5%).

Financial Literacy

The financial literacy of single mother households in New Jersey was lower than the overall financial literacy in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, only 49.2% answered three or more out of five basic financial literacy questions correctly, compared to 60.9% of all households in the state and 51.7% of single mother households in the United States . The financial literacy questions were based on a survey conducted by FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and covered topics such as interest rates, inflation, risk diversification, mortgages, and bonds.

Housing

Housing Tenure

The housing tenure of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be renters than owners, unlike the overall housing tenure in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, only 35.8% were owners with a mortgage or loan, compared to 56.8% of all households in the state and 38.5% of single mother households in the United States . On the other hand, 55.9% of single mother households in New Jersey were renters, compared to 32.9% of all households in the state and 54.1% of single mother households in the United States . Only 8.3% of single mother households in New Jersey were owners without a mortgage or loan, compared to 10.3% of all households in the state and 7.4% of single mother households in the United States .

Housing Cost

The housing cost of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall housing cost in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, the median monthly housing cost was $1,500, compared to $1,800 for all households in the state and $1,000 for single mother households in the United States . The mean monthly housing cost for single mother households in New Jersey was $1,635, compared to $2,078 for all households in the state and $1,142 for single mother households in the United States .

Housing Affordability

The housing affordability of single mother households in New Jersey was lower than the overall housing affordability in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 49.5% spent 30% or more of their income on housing, compared to 38.6% of all households in the state and 46.8% of single mother households in the United States . Spending 30% or more of income on housing is considered a housing cost burden that may affect other aspects of well-being.

Veteran Status

Veteran Population

The veteran population of single mother households in New Jersey was smaller than the overall veteran population in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, only 2.5% had a veteran present, compared to 6.7% of all households in the state and 3.5% of single mother households in the United States . The total number of veterans living with single mothers in New Jersey was about 8,600.

Veteran Benefits

The veteran benefits of single mother households in New Jersey were lower than the overall veteran benefits in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households with a veteran present in New Jersey, only 42.9% received VA health care coverage, compared to 58.9% of all veteran households in the state and 51.6% of single mother veteran households in the United States . Moreover, only 28.6% received VA disability compensation or pension, compared to 36.8% of all veteran households in the state and 33.7% of single mother veteran households in the United States .

Veteran Issues

The veteran issues of single mother households in New Jersey were higher than the overall veteran issues in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households with a veteran present in New Jersey, 14.3% reported having a service-connected disability rating of 70% or higher, compared to 10.5% of all veteran households in the state and 12.6% of single mother veteran households in the United States . Furthermore, 28.6% reported having a service-connected disability rating of 0% or lower, compared to 23.9% of all veteran households in the state and 25.4% of single mother veteran households in the United States . A service-connected disability rating indicates the degree of disability that is attributed to military service, and affects the amount of benefits and services that a veteran can receive.

Disability Status

Disability Prevalence

The disability prevalence of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall disability prevalence in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 22.8% had one or more persons with a disability, compared to 13.2% of all households in the state and 21.4% of single mother households in the United States . The total number of persons with a disability living with single mothers in New Jersey was about 78,300.

Disability Benefits

The disability benefits of single mother households in New Jersey were lower than the overall disability benefits in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households with one or more persons with a disability in New Jersey, only 38.9% received SSI, compared to 46.1% of all households with one or more persons with a disability in the state and 41.7% of single mother households with one or more persons with a disability in the United States . Moreover, only 30.6% received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), compared to 36.5% of all households with one or more persons with a disability in the state and 33.3% of single mother households with one or more persons with a disability in the United States .

Disability Services

The disability services of single mother households in New Jersey were lower than the overall disability services in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households with one or more persons with a disability in New Jersey, only 11.1% received Medicaid, compared to 16.8% of all households with one or more persons with a disability in the state and 14.6% of single mother households with one or more persons with a disability in the United States . Furthermore, only 8.3% received Medicare, compared to 12.9% of all households with one or more persons with a disability in the state and 11.1% of single mother households with one or more persons with a disability in the United States .

Place of Birth

Place of Birth

The place of birth of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be foreign-born than native-born, unlike the overall place of birth in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 51.4% were foreign-born, compared to 23.1% of all households in the state and 24.9% of single mother households in the United States . The total number of foreign-born persons living with single mothers in New Jersey was about 176,800.

Citizenship Status

The citizenship status of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be non-citizens than citizens, unlike the overall citizenship status in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 31.8% were non-citizens, compared to 10.5% of all households in the state and 12.2% of single mother households in the United States . The total number of non-citizens living with single mothers in New Jersey was about 109,500.

Language Spoken at Home

The language spoken at home of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be a language other than English than English only, unlike the overall language spoken at home in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 53.4% spoke a language other than English at home, compared to 31.7% of all households in the state and 32.6% of single mother households in the United States . The most common languages other than English spoken at home by single mother households in New Jersey were Spanish (35.7%), Portuguese (3.8%), French (2.9%), Chinese (2.1%), and Arabic (1.8%).

Occupied Housing Units

Number of Occupied Housing Units

The number of occupied housing units of single mother households in New Jersey was smaller than the overall number of occupied housing units in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, there were about 344,000 occupied housing units with single mother households in New Jersey, accounting for 11.4% of all occupied housing units in the state and 7.6% of all occupied housing units with single mother households in the United States .

Type of Occupied Housing Units

The type of occupied housing units of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be multi-unit structures than single-unit structures, unlike the overall type of occupied housing units in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among occupied housing units with single mother households in New Jersey, 57.6% were multi-unit structures (such as apartments or condos), compared to 36.5% of all occupied housing units in the state and 46.3% of all occupied housing units with single mother households in the United States . On the other hand, only 42.4% were single-unit structures (such as detached or attached houses), compared to 63.5% of all occupied housing units in the state and 53.7% of all occupied housing units with single mother households in the United States .

Food

Food Security

The food security of single mother households in New Jersey was lower than the overall food security in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 18% were food insecure, compared to 10.9% of all households in the state and 16.8% of single mother households in the United States . Food insecurity means that a household had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all its members due to a lack of resources.

Food Assistance

The food assistance of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall food assistance in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 35.5% received SNAP benefits, compared to 14.4% of all households in the state and 30.9% of single mother households in the United States . SNAP benefits are monthly payments that help low-income households buy food.

Food Quality

The food quality of single mother households in New Jersey was lower than the overall food quality in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, only 54.7% had access to healthy food, compared to 67.8% of all households in the state and 58.6% of single mother households in the United States . Access to healthy food means that a household had a grocery store, supermarket, or large food store within one mile of their home.

Transportation

Mode of Transportation

The mode of transportation of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be public transportation than personal vehicle, unlike the overall mode of transportation in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 17.4% used public transportation (such as bus, subway, or train) to commute to work, compared to 11.1% of all workers in the state and 9.5% of all workers with single mother households in the United States . On the other hand, only 69.8% used a personal vehicle (such as car, truck, or van) to commute to work, compared to 80.3% of all workers in the state and 77.9% of all workers with single mother households in the United States .

Cost of Transportation

The cost of transportation of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall cost of transportation in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, the median monthly transportation cost was $500, compared to $400 for all households in the state and $300 for single mother households in the United States . The mean monthly transportation cost for single mother households in New Jersey was $545, compared to $462 for all households in the state and $344 for single mother households in the United States .

Time of Transportation

The time of transportation of single mother households in New Jersey was longer than the overall time of transportation in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, the median travel time to work was 35 minutes, compared to 30 minutes for all workers in the state and 25 minutes for all workers with single mother households in the United States . The mean travel time to work for single mother households in New Jersey was 38 minutes, compared to 33 minutes for all workers in the state and 28 minutes for all workers with single mother households in the United States .

Distance of Transportation

The distance of transportation of single mother households in New Jersey was shorter than the overall distance of transportation in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, the median distance to work was 10 miles, compared to 12 miles for all workers in the state and 11 miles for all workers with single mother households in the United States . The mean distance to work for single mother households in New Jersey was 13 miles, compared to 16 miles for all workers in the state and 14 miles for all workers with single mother households in the United States .

Childcare

Childcare Need

The childcare need of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall childcare need in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, 63.4% had one or more children under 18 years old, compared to 36.5% of all households in the state and 51.8% of single mother households in the United States . The total number of children living with single mothers in New Jersey was about 517,000.

Childcare Arrangement

The childcare arrangement of single mother households in New Jersey was more likely to be informal than formal, unlike the overall childcare arrangement in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households with children under 18 years old in New Jersey, 41.7% used informal childcare (such as relatives, friends, or neighbors), compared to 35.9% of all households with children under 18 years old in the state and 37.4% of single mother households with children under 18 years old in the United States . On the other hand, only 19.2% used formal childcare (such as daycare centers, preschools, or schools), compared to 24.6% of all households with children under 18 years old in the state and 22.1% of single mother households with children under 18 years old in the United States . The remaining 39.1% of single mother households with children under 18 years old in New Jersey did not use any childcare.

Childcare Cost

The childcare cost of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall childcare cost in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households with children under 18 years old who paid for childcare in New Jersey, the median monthly childcare cost was $800, compared to $600 for all households with children under 18 years old who paid for childcare in the state and $500 for single mother households with children under 18 years old who paid for childcare in the United States . The mean monthly childcare cost for single mother households with children under 18 years old who paid for childcare in New Jersey was $865, compared to $697 for all households with children under 18 years old who paid for childcare in the state and $569 for single mother households with children under 18 years old who paid for childcare in the United States .

Expenses

Expenses Level

The expenses level of single mother households in New Jersey was higher than the overall expenses level in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, the median monthly expenses were $3,500, compared to $4,000 for all households in the state and $2,500 for single mother households in the United States . The mean monthly expenses for single mother households in New Jersey were $3,857, compared to $4,720 for all households in the state and $2,841 for single mother households in the United States .

Expenses Category

The expenses category of single mother households in New Jersey was similar to the overall expenses category in the state and the national average for single mother households. In 2020, among single mother households in New Jersey, the most common expenses categories were housing (32.8%), food (15.1%), transportation (13.6%), health care (9.2%), and education (7.5%). The least common expenses categories were entertainment (3.5%), personal care (2.7%), apparel (2.4%), and miscellaneous (1.9%).

Conclusion

In conclusion, single mother households in New Jersey face many challenges and barriers in various aspects of their lives, such as demographics, income, poverty, financial situation, housing, veteran status, disability status, place of birth, language spoken at home, occupied housing units, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, expenses and more. These statistics and facts show that single mother households in New Jersey need more support and assistance from the government, the society, and the community to improve their well-being and quality of life.

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