America’s top spot has been a long time coming, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. In 1960, just 9 percent of U.S. children lived with one parent, and just 3 percent lived with either a non-parent relative or a non-relative. By 2019, the Census Bureau estimated that 26 percent of children lived with single parents (a figure that varies from Pew’s due to methodological differences), while just 4 percent lived with non-parent relatives or non-relatives.
The Pew report shows that growing rates of single parenthood are tied up with the surprisingly flat rate of children living with non-parents. Pew found 8 percent of children living with non-parent relatives (again, a methodological difference) in the United States, and 38 percent of children around the globe in such extended family units.
Extended family living is uncommon in the United States among all age groups. Pew found that more than a quarter of Americans over 60 live alone, compared with 16 percent around the globe. Just 14 countries have higher rates of older adults living alone.