Population Characteristics

Household Composition

In 2004, 53.2 percent of women 18 and older were married and living with their spouses; this includes married couples living with other people, such as parents. Over 12 percent of women over age 18 are 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 configurations. The remaining women lived alone (15.4 percent), with non-relatives (7.0 percent), and with parents or other relatives (12.1 percent).

Women in female-headed households are more likely than women in married-couple families to have incomes below the Federal poverty level (see “Women and Poverty,” page 15). Black women are the most likely to be a single head of household (29.1 percent), while Asian women are the least likely (7.2 percent). Hispanic women and women of other races also have high rates of female-headed households (16.4 and 15.9 percent, respectively).

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.