A recent study by the public policy organization, Demos, indicates that the financial burden of having young children can substantially reduce a family’s income and increase its chances of falling into poverty.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the study is entitled “The Parent Trap: The Economic Insecurity of Families with Young Children.” The study determined that families with children below the age of five have substantially lower incomes and higher poverty rates than those with no children at all even after accounting for differences in age, race, and education. Household income declines by 14 percent for two adult homes with young children, perhaps because one adult may relinquish their employment.
For single women with children under five, household income falls by an average of 36 percent. The unemployment rate for single women with young children is 16 percent and is even higher for single women with lower levels of education. However, this pattern changes as children age and begin attending school. Parents are free to return to prior stable work patters, causing family incomes to rise and poverty rates to decline.