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Report: 59% USVI children lived in single-parent homes in 2014

- Data shows children population (under 18), living in the USVI on the decline
More than half of USVI children lived in single-parent homes in 2014, USVI Kids Count Data finds. Photo: VI Consortium

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI - According to the 2016 USVI Kids Count Data Book published by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (C.F.V.I) on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, as of 2014, more than half of the territory’s children — 59 percent— were living in single-parent homes, even as the number of children in married-parent families increased to 39 percent.

The C.F.V.I’s comprehensive data book provides in-depth information on the state of the territory’s children, including population, economic well-being, family integration, among other important details. This year’s release represents 2014 statistics, according to C.F.V.I.

Below are some key indicators found in the data book.

VI child population:

The number of children (under 18) living in the USVI in 2014 continued its decline, decreasing by over 16,000 children (or 47%) since 2000. Similarly, the portion of children in the population also demonstrated a continued decrease, with children representing 18% of the total population in 2014, compared to 20.5% in 2013 (which was more similar to the national rate of 23%).

Population decline in the VI has been a trend not only within the child population but within the overall population as well, as over the last 14 years the total population has decreased by an estimated 6%.

In 2014, there were 18,238 children (birth to age 18) in the VI, representing 3,233 fewer children than in 2013, and 16,051 fewer children than in 2000.

By Island:

  • St. Croix: 9,675 children represented 53% of all VI children, 1,502 (13%) fewer children than in 2013.
  • St. John: 476 children represented 2.6% of VI children, 29 (6%) fewer children than in 2013.
  • St. Thomas: 8,087 children represented 44.3% of all VI children, a decrease of 1,700 (17%) from 2013.

Children in Single-Parent Families

Living with the mother

  • 8,774 children (48%) lived with their female parent only (no father present) similar to the rates of previous years: 46% in 2013; up from 45% in 2012, and 40% in 2008. U.S. rate: about 26% of US children lived in single-mother families.

Living with their father

  • 1,952 children (11%) lived with their male parent only (no mother present), a decreased rate from 13% in 2013; and lower from the 22% in 2012. U.S. rate: about 8% of children lived in a household with a single father.

Families headed by single women

Although the total number of children living in single-female households within the VI has been on a declining trend since 2000, the share of children in these families has risen. This is in part a reflection of the underlying decline in the total child population.

  • Single females continued to head the majority (52%) of all families with children, similar to the 2013 (53%) and 2012 (52%) proportions, and a continuing increase from the 46% in 2008. U.S rate: 7.0% of all families were headed by single female householders.

By location

  • St. Thomas and St. Croix had fairly similar rates of families with children headed by a single mother: 55% (STX) and 46% (STT).
  • The percent of families with children headed by a single mother in St. John was 60%. Given the large jump from 2013 rate – 16% – this figure should be interpreted with caution, due to small sample sizes on St. John.

By race

  • Among Black families with children under 18, 51.5% (4,435 of 8,617) were headed by an unmarried female householder.
  • Among White families with children under 18, 50.7% (268 of 529) were headed by an unmarried female householder.
  • Among “Other Races” families with children under 18, 55.3% (821 of 1,484) were headed by an unmarried female householder.

Children in married-couple families

  • 36% of VI children (6,594) lived in married-couple families, similar to the 36% in 2013 (up from 24% in 2012). U.S rate: 65% of children lived in married-couple families

Children in non-parent families

  • In 2014, 5% of children lived in a household headed by an adult other than their parent – most likely a grandparent.

Living with their grandparents

  • Approximately 3% of all children (623 children) lived in households headed by their grandparent(s).

Living with other relatives (with or without a parent present)

  • 240 children (1%) lived in households headed by a relative other than a grandparent or parent.

Living with non-relatives (with or without a parent present):

  • 36 children (1%) lived in households headed by non-relatives.

See the full report here

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