Surprise was expressed to me that more children in poverty are now in two-parent families than in sole-parent families, according to the latest Salvation Army report (the information originally comes from the Household Incomes Report). Notwithstanding that how poverty is measured will effect what percentage sole-parent children make up of the total, using the standard below 60 percent of the median after- housing- costs equivalised household income, in 2009 it was half. The percentage has dropped back because more two-parent families are experiencing a drop in incomes due to the recession. As 73 percent of sole parents are on a benefit, the likelihood of their income dropping is less than for a two-parent employed family.
But the following chart provides context. It compares the percentage a group makes up of those in poverty and compares it to the percentage the group makes up of the general population.
So in 2010 sole parent households made up 24 percent of households in poverty but only 7 percent of all households. Hence their poverty risk ratio is the highest at 3.43
Richard Posner on the shortcomings of behavioural economics
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