This brief uses data from the 1997 and 2002 National Survey of America's Families to analyze racial and ethnic differences in children's living arrangements and the implications for federal and state marriage promotion policies. Black children are more likely than Hispanic or white children to live with a single parent and most black single parents have never been married. Most single parents of white children are divorced. Hispanic children are more likely than black or white children to live with unmarried cohabiting parents. Between 1997 and 2002, the share of children living with unmarried cohabiting parents rose among blacks, Hispanics, and whites, but the decline in the share of children living with single parents was significant among Hispanics only.
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