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The Mysterious and Alarming Rise of Single Parenthood in America - Aparna Mathur, Hao Fu, and Peter Hansen - The Atlantic


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You probably remember the headlines about “Breadwinner Moms” a few months ago. The Pew Center had published a report finding women are the best-paid workers in a record 40 percent of households with children under 18. That’s practically quadruple the 1960 number.

But a little detail was often lost in the large-font headlines. Sixty percent of “breadwinner-mom” families are really just single-mom families. In fact, single moms account for precisely one-quarter of U.S. households. Single dads make up another 6 percent.

In other words, the biggest story here isn’t the rise of female earners, exactly, even though that’s a distinct and powerful trend. This is really a story about a more astonishing fact: Single parents have more than tripled as a share of American households since 1960.

This happened faster than people realize. 

Where are all the fathers?

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