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Fewer Custodial Parents on Public Assistance


The proportion of custodial parents who received government assistance dropped 10 percentage points between 1993 and 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005 [PDF], program participation declined from 41 percent in 1993 to 31 percent in 2005, after reaching a low of 28 percent in 2001. The percentage of custodial parents receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families fell from 22 percent to 6 percent during the 12-year period.

About 54 percent of custodial parents worked full time and year-round in 2005, up from 46 percent in 1993.

Other highlights:

The proportion of custodial parents who received the full amount of owed child support increased from 37 percent in 1993 to 47 percent in 2005.
Child support collections totaled $25 billion. The average amount of child support received in 2005 ($3,600) was 64 percent of the average amount due ($5,600).
The proportion of custodial parents and their children living in poverty declined from 33 percent in 1993 to 23 percent in 2001.
In 45 percent of child support agreements that specified who was to provide health care coverage, the absent parent provided health insurance. Overall, approximately 3.3 million noncustodial parents provided some type of health insurance for their children.
In the spring of 2006, an estimated 13.6 million parents had custody of 21.2 million children younger than 21 while the other parent lived elsewhere. The number of custodial parents has remained statistically unchanged since 1994.
The age of custodial mothers has increased. In 2006, 38 percent of custodial mothers were 40 or older, compared with 25 percent in 1994.


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