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U.S. Census Reports That 1 in 5 U.S. Kids Are on Food Stamps

The Short of It

The number of children receiving food stamps remains higher than it was before the start of the Great Recession in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's annual Families and Living Arrangements report.

The Lowdown

A staggering statistic was revealed, the rate of children living with married parents who receive food stamps has doubled since 2007. In 2014, an estimated 16 million children, or about 1 in 5, received food stamp assistance compared with the roughly 9 million children, or 1 in 8, who received assistance prior to the recession.

The U.S. Census Bureau also highlighted these facts about American children:

  • 73.7 million children under 18 live in the United States.
    • 10 percent live with a grandparent (7.4 million).
    • 79 percent live with at least one sibling (58.5 million).
    • 15 percent have a stay-at-home mother (10.8 million), and 0.6 percent have a stay-at-home father (420,000).
    • 38 percent have at least one foreign-born parent (28.3 million).
  • The share of children who live with one parent only has tripled since 1960, from about 9 percent to 27 percent.

The Upshot

The report also highlighted interesting facts about the children's parents:

  • Married couples have more children in the household, on average, than either single mothers or single fathers.
  • Married couples make up the majority (72 percent) of the 86.4 million family groups, which are defined as two or more people who live together and are related by birth, marriage or adoption. Unmarried mothers and unmarried fathers make up 12 percent and 2 percent of family groups, respectively.
  • 24 percent of married families with children under 15 have a stay-at-home mother, and 1 percent have a stay-at-home father.
  • 39 percent of opposite-sex unmarried couples have a child under 18.

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