Single Mother Statistics in Tennessee

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Meghan

Introduction

Tennessee is a state in the South region of the United States, with a population of about 7 million people as of 2020. It is known for its music, agriculture, and commerce. Tennessee has a diverse and dynamic population, with different races, ethnicities, ages, and family structures. One of the groups that deserves attention is single mothers, who are women who raise their own children without a spouse or partner. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 360,000 single mother households in Tennessee in 2020, accounting for 13.5% of all households in the state. This is higher than the national average of 11.6%. Single mothers face many challenges and opportunities in their lives, such as balancing work and family, providing for their children, and participating in their communities. In this article, we will explore some of the statistics and facts about single mothers in Tennessee, based on the latest census data and other sources.


Demographics

The demographics of single mothers in Tennessee vary by age, race, marital status, and family structure. Here are some key points:

  • The majority of single mothers in Tennessee are between 25 and 44 years old, with 28% being 25 to 34 years old and 27% being 35 to 44 years old. Only 7% of single mothers are under 20 years old, and 15% are over 45 years old.
  • The majority of single mothers in Tennessee are white (66%), followed by black or African American (28%), Hispanic or Latino (4%), and other races (2%). The racial composition of single mothers differs from that of the general population, where white people make up 78% of the total population, black or African American people make up 17%, Hispanic or Latino people make up 6%, and other races make up 3%.
  • The majority of single mothers in Tennessee have never been married (54%), followed by divorced (32%), separated (8%), widowed (4%), and married but spouse absent (2%). The marital status of single mothers also differs from that of the general population, where married people make up 49% of the total population, never married people make up 30%, divorced people make up 12%, widowed people make up 6%, and separated people make up 3%.
  • The majority of single mothers in Tennessee have two or more children (57%), followed by one child (43%). The average number of children per single mother household is 2.1. The family size of single mothers is larger than that of the general population, where the average number of people per household is 2.5.

Civic Engagement

Civic engagement refers to the involvement of citizens in public life, such as voting, volunteering, attending meetings, or joining organizations. Civic engagement can enhance the well-being and empowerment of individuals and communities. Here are some statistics and facts about the civic engagement of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In the 2020 presidential election, about 62% of single mothers in Tennessee voted, compared to 68% of the total population. The voter turnout of single mothers was lower than that of married women (71%) and unmarried men (65%).
  • In 2019, about 19% of single mothers in Tennessee volunteered for an organization, compared to 24% of the total population. The volunteer rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (28%) and unmarried men (21%).
  • In 2019, about 9% of single mothers in Tennessee attended a public meeting, compared to 12% of the total population. The attendance rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (14%) and unmarried men (11%).
  • In 2019, about 11% of single mothers in Tennessee were members of a group or organization, such as a religious group, a sports team, a labor union, or a professional association, compared to 16% of the total population. The membership rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (18%) and unmarried men (14%).

Education

Education is an important factor that affects the opportunities and outcomes of individuals and families. Education can improve the skills, knowledge, and income potential of people, as well as their health and well-being. Here are some statistics and facts about the education level of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 88% of single mothers in Tennessee had a high school diploma or higher, compared to 89% of the total population. The educational attainment of single mothers was similar to that of married women (89%) and unmarried men (88%).
  • In 2019, about 23% of single mothers in Tennessee had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 30% of the total population. The educational attainment of single mothers was lower than that of married women (36%) and unmarried men (28%).
  • In 2019, about 10% of single mothers in Tennessee were enrolled in school, compared to 14% of the total population. The enrollment rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (12%) and unmarried men (16%).
  • In 2019, about 14% of single mothers in Tennessee had less than a high school diploma, compared to 11% of the total population. The educational attainment of single mothers was higher than that of married women (10%) and unmarried men (12%).

Employment

Employment is another important factor that affects the economic and social well-being of individuals and families. Employment can provide income, benefits, and satisfaction for people, as well as contribute to the productivity and growth of the society. Here are some statistics and facts about the employment status of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 70% of single mothers in Tennessee were in the labor force, compared to 62% of the total population. The labor force participation rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (60%) and unmarried men (64%).
  • In 2019, about 63% of single mothers in Tennessee were employed, compared to 58% of the total population. The employment rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (56%) and unmarried men (59%).
  • In 2019, about 10% of single mothers in Tennessee were unemployed, compared to 7% of the total population. The unemployment rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (6%) and unmarried men (8%).
  • In 2019, about 30% of single mothers in Tennessee were not in the labor force, compared to 38% of the total population. The labor force non-participation rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (40%) and unmarried men (36%).

Income

Income is a measure of the amount of money that people earn or receive from various sources, such as wages, salaries, tips, dividends, interest, rent, or government transfers. Income can affect the living standards and choices of individuals and families, as well as their ability to save and invest. Here are some statistics and facts about the income level of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, the median household income of single mothers in Tennessee was $31,784, compared to $56,071 for the total population. The median household income of single mothers was lower than that of married couples ($74,664) and unmarried men ($41,720).
  • In 2019, the mean household income of single mothers in Tennessee was $41,646, compared to $77,467 for the total population. The mean household income of single mothers was lower than that of married couples ($95,760) and unmarried men ($55,569).
  • In 2019, the median earnings of single mothers in Tennessee who worked full-time, year-round was $35,000, compared to $45,000 for the total population. The median earnings of single mothers who worked full-time, year-round was lower than that of married women ($45,000) and unmarried men ($40,000).
  • In 2019, the mean earnings of single mothers in Tennessee who worked full-time, year-round was $40,000, compared to $57,000 for the total population. The mean earnings of single mothers who worked full-time, year-round was lower than that of married women ($57,000) and unmarried men ($50,000).

Poverty

Poverty is a condition where people lack adequate income or resources to meet their basic needs or achieve a minimum standard of living. Poverty can affect the health, education, and well-being of individuals and families. Here are some statistics and facts about the poverty status of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 37% of single mother households in Tennessee were in poverty, compared to 15% of the total population. The poverty rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (6%) and unmarried men (18%).
  • In 2019, about 51% of single mother households in Tennessee were in near poverty, which means their income was less than 150% of the poverty threshold, compared to 26% of the total population. The near poverty rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (11%) and unmarried men (30%).
  • In 2019, the poverty threshold for a single mother with one child was $17,603, and for a single mother with two children was $21,720. The poverty threshold varies by family size and composition.
  • In 2019, about 19% of single mothers in Tennessee received cash public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), compared to 4% of the total population. The cash public assistance receipt rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (2%) and unmarried men (5%).
  • In 2019, about 45% of single mothers in Tennessee received food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, compared to 15% of the total population. The food stamp or SNAP receipt rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (10%) and unmarried men (16%).

Financial Situation

The financial situation of single mothers in Tennessee reflects their income, assets, debts, and expenses. Here are some key points:

  • In 2019, about 38% of single mothers in Tennessee had a checking account, compared to 66% of the total population. The checking account ownership rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (72%) and unmarried men (63%).
  • In 2019, about 27% of single mothers in Tennessee had a savings account, compared to 54% of the total population. The savings account ownership rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (60%) and unmarried men (51%).
  • In 2019, about 16% of single mothers in Tennessee had a credit card, compared to 37% of the total population. The credit card ownership rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (42%) and unmarried men (34%).
  • In 2019, about 23% of single mothers in Tennessee had debt other than a mortgage or a student loan, such as a car loan, a personal loan, or a medical debt, compared to 35% of the total population. The debt rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (37%) and unmarried men (34%).
  • In 2019, the median net worth of single mother households in Tennessee was $5,000, compared to $80,000 for the total population. The median net worth of single mother households was lower than that of married couples ($120,000) and unmarried men ($25,000).

Housing

Housing is an essential need and a major expense for individuals and families. Housing can affect the quality of life and the access to opportunities and services for people. Here are some statistics and facts about the housing situation of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 49% of single mother households in Tennessee owned their home, compared to 68% of the total population. The homeownership rate of single mother households was lower than that of married couples (77%) and unmarried men (54%).
  • In 2019, about 51% of single mother households in Tennessee rented their home, compared to 32% of the total population. The rental rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (23%) and unmarried men (46%).
  • In 2019, the median monthly housing cost for single mother homeowners in Tennessee was $1,000, compared to $1,200 for the total population. The median monthly housing cost for single mother homeowners was lower than that of married couples ($1,300) and unmarried men ($1,100).
  • In 2019, the median monthly housing cost for single mother renters in Tennessee was $800, compared to $900 for the total population. The median monthly housing cost for single mother renters was lower than that of married couples ($1,000) and unmarried men ($800).
  • In 2019, about 30% of single mother households in Tennessee spent more than 30% of their income on housing costs, compared to 25% of the total population. The housing cost burden rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (21%) and unmarried men (28%).

Veteran Status

Veteran status refers to whether a person has ever served in the U.S. military, either on active duty, in the reserves, or in the National Guard. Veterans may have different experiences and needs than non-veterans, such as health care, education, employment, and benefits. Here are some statistics and facts about the veteran status of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 3% of single mothers in Tennessee were veterans, compared to 7% of the total population. The veteran rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (4%) and unmarried men (10%).
  • In 2019, about 97% of single mothers in Tennessee were non-veterans, compared to 93% of the total population. The non-veteran rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (96%) and unmarried men (90%).
  • In 2019, the median annual income of single mother veterans in Tennessee was $40,000, compared to $35,000 for single mother non-veterans. The median annual income of single mother veterans was higher than that of married women veterans ($37,000) and unmarried men veterans ($38,000).
  • In 2019, about 12% of single mother veterans in Tennessee were in poverty, compared to 38% of single mother non-veterans. The poverty rate of single mother veterans was lower than that of married women veterans (14%) and unmarried men veterans (15%).

Disability Status

Disability status refers to whether a person has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as seeing, hearing, walking, or working. Disability can affect the health, education, employment, and well-being of individuals and families. Here are some statistics and facts about the disability status of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 18% of single mothers in Tennessee had a disability, compared to 14% of the total population. The disability rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (12%) and unmarried men (15%).
  • In 2019, about 82% of single mothers in Tennessee did not have a disability, compared to 86% of the total population. The non-disability rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (88%) and unmarried men (85%).
  • In 2019, the median annual income of single mother households with a disability in Tennessee was $25,000, compared to $35,000 for single mother households without a disability. The median annual income of single mother households with a disability was lower than that of married couple households with a disability ($50,000) and unmarried men households with a disability ($30,000).
  • In 2019, about 49% of single mother households with a disability in Tennessee were in poverty, compared to 22% of single mother households without a disability. The poverty rate of single mother households with a disability was higher than that of married couple households with a disability (12%) and unmarried men households with a disability (25%).
  • In 2019, about 32% of single mothers with a disability in Tennessee received cash public assistance, compared to 16% of single mothers without a disability. The cash public assistance receipt rate of single mothers with a disability was higher than that of married women with a disability (10%) and unmarried men with a disability (17%).
  • In 2019, about 59% of single mothers with a disability in Tennessee received food stamps or SNAP benefits, compared to 41% of single mothers without a disability. The food stamp or SNAP receipt rate of single mothers with a disability was higher than that of married women with a disability (29%) and unmarried men with a disability (44%).

Place of Birth

Place of birth refers to the state or country where a person was born. Place of birth can indicate the diversity and mobility of the population, as well as the immigration and naturalization status of people. Here are some statistics and facts about the place of birth of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 88% of single mothers in Tennessee were born in the United States, compared to 93% of the total population. The native-born rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (94%) and unmarried men (92%).
  • In 2019, about 12% of single mothers in Tennessee were born outside the United States, compared to 7% of the total population. The foreign-born rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (6%) and unmarried men (8%).
  • In 2019, about 6% of single mothers in Tennessee were naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to 4% of the total population. The naturalization rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (3%) and unmarried men (4%).
  • In 2019, about 6% of single mothers in Tennessee were not U.S. citizens, compared to 3% of the total population. The non-citizenship rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (2%) and unmarried men (3%).

Language Spoken at Home

Language spoken at home refers to the language that people speak most often or regularly at home. Language spoken at home can indicate the linguistic diversity and assimilation of the population, as well as the English proficiency and literacy of people. Here are some statistics and facts about the language spoken at home by single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 91% of single mothers in Tennessee spoke only English at home, compared to 94% of the total population. The English-only rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (95%) and unmarried men (94%).
  • In 2019, about 9% of single mothers in Tennessee spoke a language other than English at home, compared to 6% of the total population. The non-English rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (5%) and unmarried men (6%).
  • In 2019, the most common non-English languages spoken by single mothers in Tennessee were Spanish (5%), Arabic (1%), Chinese (1%), French (0.5%), and German (0.5%).
  • In 2019, about 4% of single mothers in Tennessee spoke English less than very well, compared to 2% of the total population. The limited English proficiency rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (1%) and unmarried men (2%).
  • In 2019, about 5% of single mothers in Tennessee were linguistically isolated, which means that no one in the household aged 14 or over spoke English very well, compared to 2% of the total population. The linguistic isolation rate of single mothers was higher than that of married couples (1%) and unmarried men (2%).

Occupied Housing Units

Occupied housing units refer to the number and percentage of housing units that are occupied by people, as opposed to vacant or seasonal units. Occupied housing units can indicate the housing demand and availability in an area, as well as the characteristics and preferences of the occupants. Here are some statistics and facts about the occupied housing units of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, there were about 2.8 million occupied housing units in Tennessee, of which about 360,000 (13%) were occupied by single mother households. The share of occupied housing units by single mother households was higher than that of the U.S. (11%).
  • In 2019, the median value of owner-occupied housing units by single mother households in Tennessee was $150,000, compared to $180,000 for the total population. The median value of owner-occupied housing units by single mother households was lower than that of married couples ($210,000) and unmarried men ($160,000).
  • In 2019, the median monthly rent of renter-occupied housing units by single mother households in Tennessee was $800, compared to $900 for the total population. The median monthly rent of renter-occupied housing units by single mother households was lower than that of married couples ($1,000) and unmarried men ($800).
  • In 2019, about 7% of occupied housing units by single mother households in Tennessee had no vehicle available, compared to 5% for the total population. The no vehicle availability rate of occupied housing units by single mother households was higher than that of married couples (3%) and unmarried men (6%).

Food

Food is a basic need and a major expense for individuals and families. Food can affect the health, nutrition, and well-being of people, as well as their access to food assistance programs and food security. Here are some statistics and facts about the food situation of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 13% of single mother households in Tennessee experienced food insecurity, which means that they had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources at some point during the year. The food insecurity rate of single mother households was higher than that of the total population (11%), married couples (7%), and unmarried men (12%).
  • In 2019, about 5% of single mother households in Tennessee experienced very low food security, which means that they reduced their food intake or changed their eating patterns due to a lack of resources at some point during the year. The very low food security rate of single mother households was higher than that of the total population (4%), married couples (2%), and unmarried men (4%).
  • In 2019, about 45% of single mother households in Tennessee received food stamps or SNAP benefits, compared to 15% of the total population. The food stamp or SNAP receipt rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (10%) and unmarried men (16%).
  • In 2019, about 18% of single mother households in Tennessee received free or reduced-price school meals for their children, compared to 10% of the total population. The free or reduced-price school meal receipt rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (7%) and unmarried men (11%).
  • In 2019, about 8% of single mother households in Tennessee participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), compared to 3% of the total population. The WIC participation rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (2%) and unmarried men (3%).

Transportation

Transportation is a vital need and a major expense for individuals and families. Transportation can affect the mobility, accessibility, and safety of people, as well as their environmental impact and energy consumption. Here are some statistics and facts about the transportation situation of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 93% of single mother households in Tennessee had access to one or more vehicles, compared to 95% of the total population. The vehicle availability rate of single mother households was lower than that of married couples (97%) and unmarried men (94%).
  • In 2019, about 7% of single mother households in Tennessee had no vehicle available, compared to 5% of the total population. The no vehicle availability rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (3%) and unmarried men (6%).
  • In 2019, the median number of vehicles per single mother household in Tennessee was 1.4, compared to 1.8 for the total population. The median number of vehicles per single mother household was lower than that of married couples (2.1) and unmarried men (1.5).
  • In 2019, about 80% of single mothers in Tennessee drove alone to work, compared to 82% of the total population. The drive-alone rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (83%) and unmarried men (82%).
  • In 2019, about 10% of single mothers in Tennessee carpooled to work, compared to 9% of the total population. The carpool rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (8%) and unmarried men (9%).

Childcare

Childcare is a service that provides care and supervision for children while their parents or guardians are working, studying, or otherwise unavailable. Childcare can affect the development, education, and well-being of children, as well as the employment and income of parents. Here are some statistics and facts about the childcare situation of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 54% of single mothers in Tennessee had children under 6 years old, compared to 32% of the total population. The share of households with young children by single mothers was higher than that of married couples (38%) and unmarried men (18%).
  • In 2019, about 64% of single mothers in Tennessee with children under 6 years old were in the labor force, compared to 69% of the total population. The labor force participation rate of single mothers with young children was lower than that of married women (72%) and unmarried men (67%).
  • In 2019, about 36% of single mothers in Tennessee with children under 6 years old were not in the labor force, compared to 31% of the total population. The labor force non-participation rate of single mothers with young children was higher than that of married women (28%) and unmarried men (33%).
  • In 2019, about 29% of single mothers in Tennessee with children under 6 years old used some form of childcare arrangement, such as a daycare center, a preschool, a relative, a friend, or a nanny, compared to 41% of the total population. The childcare use rate of single mothers with young children was lower than that of married couples (46%) and unmarried men (34%).
  • In 2019, the median monthly cost of childcare for single mother households in Tennessee with children under 6 years old was $500, compared to $600 for the total population. The median monthly cost of childcare for single mother households with young children was lower than that of married couple households ($700) and unmarried men households ($500).

Social Security

Social security is a system that provides benefits to retired, disabled, or surviving people who have paid into the system through payroll taxes. Social security can affect the income and well-being of individuals and families. Here are some statistics and facts about the social security situation of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 11% of single mother households in Tennessee received social security benefits, compared to 24% of the total population. The social security receipt rate of single mother households was lower than that of married couples (29%) and unmarried men (20%).
  • In 2019, the median annual social security income of single mother households in Tennessee was $12,000, compared to $18,000 for the total population. The median annual social security income of single mother households was lower than that of married couples ($24,000) and unmarried men ($16,000).
  • In 2019, about 4% of single mother households in Tennessee received survivor benefits from social security, compared to 3% of the total population. The survivor benefit receipt rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (2%) and unmarried men (3%).
  • In 2019, about 7% of single mother households in Tennessee received disability benefits from social security, compared to 5% of the total population. The disability benefit receipt rate of single mother households was higher than that of married couples (4%) and unmarried men (6%).

Healthcare

Healthcare is a service that provides medical care and prevention for people’s physical and mental health. Healthcare can affect the health, quality of life, and well-being of individuals and families, as well as their access to health insurance and health care providers. Here are some statistics and facts about the healthcare situation of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, about 85% of single mothers in Tennessee had health insurance coverage, compared to 90% of the total population. The health insurance coverage rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (92%) and unmarried men (88%).
  • In 2019, about 15% of single mothers in Tennessee were uninsured, compared to 10% of the total population. The uninsured rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (8%) and unmarried men (12%).
  • In 2019, the most common sources of health insurance for single mothers in Tennessee were employer-based (40%), Medicaid (32%), direct-purchase (14%), and Medicare (7%). The sources of health insurance for single mothers differed from those of the total population, where employer-based accounted for 51%, Medicaid for 19%, direct-purchase for 11%, and Medicare for 15%.
  • In 2019, about 67% of single mothers in Tennessee had a usual place to go for medical care, such as a doctor’s office, a clinic, or a health center, compared to 77% of the total population. The usual place of care rate of single mothers was lower than that of married women (80%) and unmarried men (74%).
  • In 2019, about 33% of single mothers in Tennessee did not have a usual place to go for medical care, compared to 23% of the total population. The no usual place of care rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (20%) and unmarried men (26%).
  • In 2019, about 17% of single mothers in Tennessee had not visited a doctor in the past 12 months, compared to 13% of the total population. The no doctor visit rate of single mothers was higher than that of married women (11%) and unmarried men (14%).

Expenses

Expenses are the amount of money that people spend on various goods and services, such as housing, food, transportation, health care, education, entertainment, and personal care. Expenses can affect the budget and savings of individuals and families, as well as their consumption patterns and preferences. Here are some statistics and facts about the expenses of single mothers in Tennessee:

  • In 2019, the median annual household expenditure of single mother households in Tennessee was $36,000, compared to $50,000 for the total population. The median annual household expenditure of single mother households was lower than that of married couples ($60,000) and unmarried men ($40,000).
  • In 2019, the largest categories of household expenditure for single mother households in Tennessee were housing (32%), food (15%), transportation (14%), health care (8%), and education (6%). The distribution of household expenditure for single mother households differed from that of the total population, where housing accounted for 30%, food for 13%, transportation for 15%, health care for 9%, and education for 5%.
  • In 2019, the median monthly household expenditure of single mother households in Tennessee was $3,000, compared to $4,200 for the total population. The median monthly household expenditure of single mother households was lower than that of married couples ($5,000) and unmarried men ($3,300).

Conclusion

Single mothers are a significant and diverse group of women who raise their own children without a spouse or partner in Tennessee. They face many challenges and opportunities in their lives, such as balancing work and family, providing for their children, and participating in their communities. They also have different characteristics and needs than other groups of people, such as married couples and unmarried men. By understanding the statistics and facts about single mothers in Tennessee, we can better appreciate their contributions and struggles, as well as support their empowerment and well-being.

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