U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Household Composition

In 2007, 52.8 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. More than 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 housing unit that they own or rent. Housing units may include houses, apartments, groups of rooms or a single room that is intended to be used as separate living quarters. Women who are heads of households include single mothers, single women with a parent or other close relative living in their home, and women with other household compositions. The remaining women lived alone (15.3 percent), with parents or other relatives (12.5 percent), or with non-relatives (6.9 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 2007, non-Hispanic Black women were most likely to be single heads of households (36.1 percent), while non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander women were least likely (8.0 percent). Hispanic women (19.0 percent) and non-Hispanic women of other races (25.9 percent) were also more likely than non-Hispanic White women to be heads of households (12.0 percent).

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