Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day statistics. Motherhood, in the "Ozzie and Harriet sense" is declining, according to a story in Sunday's New York Times. The story notes that in the last 25 years, the number of single-parent households has doubled (see chart). According to the story,

One-parent households, meanwhile, have nearly doubled in the same period, but there's an interesting quirk in the statistics.

Households where that one parent is the mother, not surprisingly, far outnumber those in which the father is going it alone. But while single-mother households have grown about 60 percent, the number of father-only establishments has more than tripled.

What's happening? This may well be one of those glasses that, depending on one's perch, are alternately half full or half empty. Are some single mothers asserting their right not to shoulder the responsibility, or are more single fathers asserting their right to bear that very responsibility?

If you're looking at this from the child's viewpoint, a single-parent household, whether headed by a mother or a father, is a glass that is half full.


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