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Female-headed families receiving child support in United States

Female-headed families receiving child support

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Definition and Source



Families headed by an unmarried woman (living with one or more of her own children under age 18) receiving child support payments during the previous calendar year.

"Own children" include never-married persons under age 18 who are the sons or daughters of the householder (head of household). The householder's stepchildren and adopted children are also counted as "own children." Families categorized as receiving child support include those receiving partial payment, as well as those receiving full payment. It also should be noted that there is no child support award in place in many of these families. 

Data Source

2018 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) Research File, 2019 CPS ASEC Bridge File, 2020-2021 CPS ASEC. Estimates represent a three-year average.

Data users should exercise caution when comparing estimates from the 2020 CPS ASEC to previous years. The data collection for the 2020 CPS ASEC occurred during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To protect the health and safety of Census Bureau staff and respondents, interviewing methods were changed, and this led to a lower response rate than in previous years. See the March 2020 CPS ASEC technical documentation for more information.


Updated September 2022.

Last Updated

September 2022