What does this measure?
The estimated number of single–parent families with children under 18, as a percent of all families with children under 18.
Why is this important?
Children in single–parent families are far more likely to grow up in low–income households than those living with two parents. They are at greater risk of low academic performance and behavioral problems and may experience parental conflict and residential instability as well.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
According to 2006–10 estimates, the percent of single–parent families was 35% in Cayuga and 37% in Seneca, higher than the state (excluding NYC) rate of 30% and the national rate of 33%. The rate rose 5 points in Cayuga and 7 points in Seneca since 2000, compared to 4–point increases in the state and nation. Rates in the comparison counties ranged from 29% in Ontario to 37% in Onondaga. Some local areas, such as Auburn and Seneca Falls, had higher proportions of single–parent families.
Notes about the data
The 2006–10 figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%–50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%–35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.