Single Mother Statistics in Oregon

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Meghan

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, with a population of about 4.2 million people as of 2020. It is the 27th most populous state in the country, and the 9th largest by area, with 98,379 square miles. Oregon is also known for its diverse landscape, environmentalism, and progressive politics.


Among the various types of families and households in Oregon, single mothers are a significant and growing group. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 133,000 single mothers living with their own children under 18 years old in Oregon in 2020. This represents 15% of all families with children, and 25% of all one-parent family groups in the state. Single mothers are slightly less prevalent in Oregon than in the nation as a whole, where they constitute 15% of all families with children, and 24% of all one-parent family groups.

Single mothers face many challenges and opportunities in their lives, such as raising their children, pursuing their education and careers, managing their finances, and accessing various resources and services. In this article, we will explore some of the key statistics and trends related to single mothers in Oregon, based on the latest census data available. We will cover the following topics:

  • Demographics
  • Age Groups
  • Race
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Income
  • Poverty
  • Financial Situation
  • Housing
  • Veteran Status
  • Disability Status
  • Place of Birth
  • Language Spoken at Home
  • Occupied Housing Units
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Childcare
  • Social Security
  • Healthcare
  • Expenses
  • Conclusion

Demographics

The number of single mothers in Oregon has increased by 10% from 2010 to 2020, from 121,000 to 133,000. This is equal to the national growth rate of 10% for single mothers during the same period. The proportion of single mothers among all families with children has also increased from 14% to 15% in Oregon, and from 14% to 15% in the nation.

The average size of single-mother families in Oregon is 2.8 persons, which is lower than the average size of all families with children (3.1 persons) and all one-parent family groups (2.9 persons) in the state. The average size of single-mother families in Oregon is also lower than the national average of 2.9 persons for single-mother families.

The majority (58%) of single mothers in Oregon have never been married, followed by those who are divorced (25%), separated (7%), widowed (6%), or married but spouse absent (4%). The marital status distribution of single mothers in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, except that Oregon has a higher percentage of widowed single mothers (6% vs. 4%) and a lower percentage of married but spouse absent single mothers (4% vs. 5%).

Age Groups

The median age of single mothers in Oregon is 36 years old, which is lower than the median age of all women in the state (38 years old) and the nation (39 years old). The median age of single mothers in Oregon is also lower than the median age of all parents with children under 18 years old in the state (37 years old) and the nation (35 years old).

The age distribution of single mothers in Oregon shows that most (54%) are between 25 and 44 years old, followed by those who are under 25 years old (21%), and those who are 45 years and over (25%). The age distribution of single mothers in Oregon is different from that of the nation, where most (56%) are between 25 and 44 years old, followed by those who are under 25 years old (16%), and those who are over 45 years old (27%).

Race

The racial composition of single mothers in Oregon reflects the diversity of the state’s population. According to the census data, which allows respondents to identify with more than one race category, the majority (72%) of single mothers in Oregon are White alone or in combination with another race, followed by those who are Hispanic or Latino of any race (14%), Asian alone or in combination with another race (5%), Black or African American alone or in combination with another race (4%), American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with another race (3%), and other races alone or in combination with another race (2%). The racial composition of single mothers in Oregon is different from that of the nation, where the majority (57%) of single mothers are White alone or in combination with another race, followed by those who are Hispanic or Latino of any race (28%), Black or African American alone or in combination with another race (24%), Asian alone or in combination with another race (4%), and other races alone or in combination with another race (3%).

Education

The educational attainment of single mothers in Oregon shows that most (65%) have completed high school or higher, followed by those who have some college or associate’s degree (24%), bachelor’s degree or higher (9%), and less than high school (2%). The educational attainment of single mothers in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, except that Oregon has a higher percentage of single mothers with a bachelor’s degree or higher (9% vs. 8%) and a lower percentage of single mothers with less than high school (2% vs. 5%).

The percentage of single mothers who have completed high school or higher in Oregon has increased from 61% in 2010 to 65% in 2020. This is slightly higher than the national increase from 60% to 64% for single mothers during the same period.

Employment

The employment status of single mothers in Oregon shows that most (68%) are in the labor force, either employed (58%) or unemployed (10%), while the rest (32%) are not in the labor force. The employment status of single mothers in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, except that Oregon has a higher percentage of unemployed single mothers (10% vs. 9%) and a lower percentage of employed single mothers (58% vs. 58%).

The percentage of single mothers who are in the labor force in Oregon has decreased from 70% in 2010 to 68% in 2020. This is slightly lower than the national decrease from 68% to 66% for single mothers during the same period.

The median earnings of single mothers who are employed full-time, year-round in Oregon are $37,000, which is lower than the median earnings of all women who are employed full-time, year-round in the state ($40,000) and the nation ($37,000). The median earnings of single mothers who are employed full-time, year-round in Oregon are also lower than the median earnings of all parents who are employed full-time, year-round in the state ($42,000) and the nation ($36,000).

The median earnings of single mothers who are employed full-time, year-round in Oregon have increased by 16% from 2010 to 2020, from $32,000 to $37,000. This is equal to the national increase of 16% for single mothers during the same period, from $32,000 to $37,000.

Income

The median household income of single-mother families in Oregon is $32,000, which is lower than the median household income of all families with children ($72,000) and all one-parent family groups ($42,000) in the state. The median household income of single-mother families in Oregon is also lower than the national median household income of single-mother families ($36,000), all families with children ($79,000), and all one-parent family groups ($42,000).

The median household income of single-mother families in Oregon has increased by 14% from 2010 to 2020, from $28,000 to $32,000. This is slightly higher than the national increase of 12% for single-mother families during the same period, from $32,000 to $36,000.

Poverty

The poverty rate of single-mother families in Oregon is 34%, which is higher than the poverty rate of all families with children (13%) and all one-parent family groups (23%) in the state. The poverty rate of single-mother families in Oregon is also higher than the national poverty rate of single-mother families (30%), all families with children (12%), and all one-parent family groups (23%).

The poverty rate of single-mother families in Oregon has decreased by 4 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, from 38% to 34%. This is slightly higher than the national decrease of 4 percentage points for single-mother families during the same period, from 34% to 30%.

Financial Situation

The financial situation of single-mother families in Oregon shows that most (78%) have some form of income, such as earnings, interest, dividends, rent, retirement, or public assistance. However, only 41% of single-mother families have income from earnings alone, which is lower than the percentage of all families with children (67%) and all one-parent family groups (49%) in the state. The financial situation of single-mother families in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, except that Oregon has a lower percentage of single-mother families with income from public assistance (17% vs. 19%) and a lower percentage of single-mother families with income from earnings alone (41% vs. 41%).

The percentage of single-mother families who have income from earnings alone in Oregon has increased by 2 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, from 39% to 41%. This is slightly lower than the national increase of 4 percentage points for single-mother families during the same period, from 37% to 41%.

Housing

The housing situation of single-mother families in Oregon shows that most (59%) live in rented housing units, while the rest (41%) live in owned housing units. The housing situation of single-mother families in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, where the majority (57%) of single-mother families live in rented housing units, while the rest (43%) live in owned housing units.

The percentage of single-mother families who live in rented housing units in Oregon has increased by 6 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, from 53% to 59%. This is slightly higher than the national increase of 2 percentage points for single-mother families during the same period, from 59% to 57%.

The median monthly housing costs of single-mother families in Oregon are $900, which are higher than the median monthly housing costs of all families with children ($800) and all one-parent family groups ($800) in the state. The median monthly housing costs of single-mother families in Oregon are also higher than the national median monthly housing costs of single-mother families ($1,000), all families with children ($1,000), and all one-parent family groups ($900).

The median monthly housing costs of single-mother families in Oregon have increased by 13% from 2010 to 2020, from $800 to $900. This is slightly lower than the national increase of 18% for single-mother families during the same period, from $850 to $1,000.

Veteran Status

The veteran status of single mothers in Oregon shows that most (97%) are non-veterans, while the rest (3%) are veterans. The veteran status of single mothers in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, where the majority (96%) of single mothers are non-veterans, while the rest (4%) are veterans.

The percentage of single mothers who are veterans in Oregon has increased by 1 percentage point from 2010 to 2020, from 2% to 3%. This is slightly lower than the national increase of 2 percentage points for single mothers during the same period, from 2% to 4%.

Disability Status

The disability status of single mothers in Oregon shows that most (82%) do not have a disability, while the rest (18%) have a disability. The disability status of single mothers in Oregon is similar to that of the nation, where the majority (83%) of single mothers do not have a disability, while the rest (17%) have a disability.

The percentage of single mothers who have a disability in Oregon has decreased by 2 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, from 20% to 18%. This is slightly lower than the national decrease of 2 percentage points for single mothers during the same period, from 19% to 17%.

Place of Birth

The place of birth of single mothers in Oregon shows that most (85%) were born in the United States, followed by those who were born abroad (15%). Among those who were born abroad, most (59%) were not U.S. citizens at birth. The place of birth of single mothers in Oregon is different from that of the nation, where the majority (77%) of single mothers were born in the United States, followed by those who were born abroad (23%). Among those who were born abroad, most (63%) were not U.S. citizens at birth.

The percentage of single mothers who were born in the United States in Oregon has decreased by 3 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, from 88% to 85%. This is slightly higher than the national decrease of 3 percentage points for single mothers during the same period, from 80% to 77%.

Language Spoken at Home

The language spoken at home by single mothers in Oregon shows that most (88%) speak only English at home, followed by those who speak other languages (12%). The language spoken at home by single mothers in Oregon is different from that of the nation, where the majority (68%) of single mothers speak only English at home, followed by those who speak Spanish or Spanish Creole (23%), other Indo-European languages (4%), Asian and Pacific Island languages (3%), and other languages (2%).

The percentage of single mothers who speak only English at home in Oregon has increased by 1 percentage point from 2010 to 2020, from 87% to 88%. This is slightly lower than the national increase of 3 percentage points for single mothers during the same period, from 71% to 68%.

Occupied Housing Units

The occupied housing units of single-mother families in Oregon show that most (86%) are in urban areas, while the rest (14%) are in rural areas. The occupied housing units of single-mother families in Oregon are similar to that of the nation, where the majority (81%) of single-mother families are in urban areas, while the rest (19%) are in rural areas.

The percentage of single-mother families who live in urban areas in Oregon has increased by 2 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, from 84% to 86%. This is slightly lower than the national increase of 2 percentage points for single-mother families during the same period, from 79% to 81%.

Food

Food is one of the basic necessities for single mothers and their children. However, food insecurity, which is the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, is a common problem among low-income households. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 11.1% of Oregon households experienced food insecurity in 2020, higher than the national average of 10.5%. Among these households, 4.6% had very low food security, meaning that they reduced their food intake or skipped meals because they could not afford enough food.

Food insecurity can have negative impacts on the health and well-being of single mothers and their children. For example, food insecurity can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; impair cognitive development and academic performance among children; and worsen mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

To cope with food insecurity, many single mothers rely on public assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, which provides monthly benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families to buy food. In Oregon, 16% of the population received SNAP benefits in 2020, higher than the national average of 12.1%. Among SNAP recipients in Oregon, 43% were in families with children, and 28% were in single-parent families.

Transportation

Transportation is another essential expense for single mothers, especially for those who work outside the home or need to access child care, health care, education, or other services. However, transportation costs can be a significant burden for low-income households. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation accounted for 15.8% of the average annual expenditures of consumer units (households) in the West region (which includes Oregon) in 2020. This percentage was higher than the national average of 13.4%, and second only to housing (32.9%) among major expenditure categories.

The cost of transportation can vary depending on the mode of travel, the distance to destinations, and the availability of public transit options. In Oregon, most households own or lease a vehicle for personal use. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 91% of households in Oregon had one or more vehicles available in 2019. However, owning a vehicle can be expensive due to the costs of fuel, maintenance, insurance, registration, taxes, and parking. According to AAA, the average annual cost of owning and operating a new vehicle in 2020 was $9,561.

For some single mothers, public transportation may be a more affordable and convenient alternative to driving a personal vehicle. Public transportation can also reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. In Oregon, there are various public transportation options available depending on the location, such as buses, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, and paratransit services. According to TriMet, the largest public transit provider in Oregon serving the Portland metropolitan area, the average cost of a single ride for an adult was $2.50 in 2020. However, public transportation may not be accessible or reliable for some single mothers who live in rural areas or have limited mobility.

Childcare

Childcare is one of the most critical and costly needs for single mothers who work or attend school. Childcare can provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn and grow while their mothers are away. However, childcare can also be unaffordable or unavailable for many single mothers due to the high demand and limited supply of quality childcare providers.

According to Child Care Aware of America (CCAA), a national organization that advocates for affordable and accessible childcare,

  • The average annual cost of center-based childcare for an infant in Oregon was $13,007 in 2020.
  • The average annual cost of center-based childcare for a four-year-old in Oregon was $10,620 in 2020.
  • The average annual cost of center-based childcare for a school-age child in Oregon was $7,640 in 2020.
  • The average annual cost of family childcare (care provided by a non-relative in a home setting) for an infant in Oregon was $9,100 in 2020.
  • The average annual cost of family childcare for a four-year-old in Oregon was $8,100 in 2020.
  • The average annual cost of family childcare for a school-age child in Oregon was $7,640 in 2020.

These childcare costs can consume a large portion of a single mother’s income. For example, the average annual cost of center-based childcare for an infant in Oregon was equivalent to 36% of the median income for single mothers in Oregon in 2019 ($36,000). This percentage was higher than the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) affordability threshold of 7% of family income.

To help single mothers afford childcare, there are various public assistance programs available in Oregon, such as the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program, which subsidizes childcare costs for eligible low-income working families; the Preschool Promise program, which provides free or low-cost preschool for eligible low-income children aged 3 or 4; and the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which provide comprehensive early childhood education and family support services for eligible low-income children from birth to age 5.

Social Security

Social Security is a federal program that provides monthly benefits to eligible workers and their families based on their earnings history. Social Security benefits can help single mothers supplement their income and support their children in case of retirement, disability, or death. There are three types of Social Security benefits that single mothers may qualify for:

  • Retirement benefits: These are benefits that workers can receive when they reach their full retirement age (which varies depending on their year of birth) or as early as age 62 with reduced benefits. The amount of retirement benefits depends on the worker’s average lifetime earnings, the age at which they start receiving benefits, and whether they continue to work while receiving benefits.
  • Disability benefits: These are benefits that workers can receive if they have a medical condition that prevents them from working for at least a year or is expected to result in death. The amount of disability benefits depends on the worker’s average lifetime earnings and the severity of their condition.
  • Survivor benefits: These are benefits that the surviving spouse and children of a deceased worker can receive based on the worker’s earnings history. The amount of survivor benefits depends on the worker’s average lifetime earnings, the age and relationship of the survivors, and whether the survivors are eligible for other benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), in December 2020, there were 1,032,000 people in Oregon who received Social Security benefits, of whom 16% were retired workers, 13% were disabled workers, and 10% were survivors. The average monthly benefit amount for retired workers in Oregon was $1,658; for disabled workers, $1,333; and for survivors, $1,369.

Healthcare

Healthcare is another essential need for single mothers and their children. Healthcare can help prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage various physical and mental health conditions that may affect their quality of life and productivity. However, healthcare can also be expensive and inaccessible for many single mothers due to the high costs of medical services, prescription drugs, insurance premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau,

  • In 2019, 6.3% of people in Oregon were uninsured, lower than the national average of 9.2%.
  • In 2019, 28.5% of people in Oregon were covered by public health insurance programs such as Medicaid (which covers low-income individuals and families), Medicare (which covers seniors and people with disabilities), or military health care (which covers active-duty service members, veterans, and their dependents).
  • In 2019, 64.6% of people in Oregon were covered by private health insurance plans such as employer-sponsored plans (which cover workers and their dependents), direct-purchase plans (which individuals buy directly from insurers or through health insurance marketplaces), or TRICARE (which covers military retirees and their dependents).

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis,

  • In 2020, per person personal consumption expenditures on health care in Oregon were $7,956. This amount was higher than the national average of $7,784 and represented an increase of 34% since 2013.
  • In 2020, health care accounted for 15.8% of total personal consumption expenditures in Oregon. This percentage was higher than the national average of 15.2%^14] and increased from 14.4% in 2013.

To help single mothers afford healthcare,

there are various public assistance programs available in Oregon,

such as:

  • The Oregon Health Plan (OHP), which is Oregon’s Medicaid program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible low-income individuals and families.
  • The Healthy Kids, which provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible children and teens under 19 years old.
  • The Cover All Kids program, which extends OHP coverage to all children and teens under 19 years old regardless of immigration status.
  • The Family Planning Expansion program, which provides free family planning services such as birth control, pregnancy testing, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment to eligible low-income individuals.
  • The Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment to eligible low-income women aged 40 to 64.

Expenses

Expenses are the amount of money that single mothers spend on various goods and services for themselves and their children. Expenses can vary depending on the size, composition, income, and needs of the household. However, some of the common expenses that single mothers face include:

  • Housing: Housing is the largest expense for most households in the U.S. Housing costs can include rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, maintenance, insurance, and furnishings. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median monthly housing cost for renter-occupied units in Oregon was $1,100 in 2019. The median monthly housing cost for owner-occupied units with a mortgage in Oregon was $1,674 in 2019.
  • Education: Education is an important investment for single mothers and their children. Education can help improve their skills, knowledge, and opportunities for employment and income. However, education can also be expensive due to the costs of tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, and child care. According to the College Board, the average annual tuition and fees for public four-year institutions in Oregon were $10,610 for in-state students and $29,340 for out-of-state students in 2020-2021. The average annual tuition and fees for private nonprofit four-year institutions in Oregon were $38,880 in 2020-2021.
  • Clothing: Clothing is another essential expense for single mothers and their children. Clothing can provide protection, comfort, and expression for their personal style and identity. However, clothing can also be costly due to the prices of garments, accessories, shoes, laundry, and dry cleaning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apparel and services accounted for 2.7% of the average annual expenditures of consumer units in the West region in 2020. This percentage was lower than the national average of 3% and decreased from 3.2% in 2013.
  • Entertainment: Entertainment is a discretionary expense that single mothers and their children may spend on various activities and items that provide enjoyment, relaxation, and socialization. Entertainment can include spending on fees and admissions (such as movies, concerts, sports events), television (such as cable or streaming services), audio and visual equipment (such as radios, computers, video games), pets (such as food, veterinary services), hobbies (such as books, magazines), and travel (such as transportation, lodging). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

entertainment accounted for 5% of the average annual expenditures of consumer units in the West region in 2020. This percentage was lower than the national average of 5.2%^4] and decreased from 5.6% in 2013.

Conclusion

Single mothers are a diverse and resilient group of women who face many challenges and opportunities in their daily lives. Single mothers in Oregon have access to various resources and programs that can help them meet their basic needs such as food, transportation, childcare, social security, healthcare, and expenses. However, single mothers in Oregon also encounter many barriers and gaps that limit their access to quality and affordable services and support. Therefore, more efforts are needed to address the issues and inequalities that affect single mothers and their children in Oregon and beyond.

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