Household Composition

In 2006, 52.5 percent of women aged 18 years and older were married and living with a spouse; this includes married couples living with other people, such as parents. Just over 12 percent of women over age 18 were the heads of their households, meaning that they have children or other family members, but no spouse, living with them in a house that they own or rent. Women who are heads of households include single mothers, single women with a parent or other close relative in their house, and women with other household compositions. The remaining women lived alone (15.3 percent), with parents or other relatives (12.7 percent), or with non-relatives (7.2 percent).

Women in households with no spouse present are more likely than women in married couple families to have incomes below poverty (see “Women and Poverty” on the next page). In 2006, Black women were most likely to be single heads of households (28.9 percent) while Asian women were least likely (7.5 percent). Hispanic women and women of other races were also more likely than non-Hispanic White and Asian women to be heads of households (16.2 and 17.7 percent, respectively).

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