One Quarter of U.S. Kids Raised by Single Parents

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One out of four children in America are being raised by a single parent, more than many other developed countries, according to a report released Wednesday.

Out of the 27 countries studied, the U.S. has the most single parent households. The study also cited that the U.S. percentage of single parent households is on the rise.

Experts say there are a variety of factors behind the high number. Single parents are more likely to be employed, but they also have higher poverty rates.

"The in-work poverty is higher in the U.S. than other OECD countries, because at the bottom end of the labor market, earnings are very low," said Willem Adema, a senior economist in the group's social policy division. "For parents, the risk is higher because they have to make expenditures on childcare costs."

Ireland was second , followed by New Zealand. Greece, Spain, Italy and Luxemborg had among the lowest percentages of children in single-parent homes.

The study also reported that the U.S. also lacks policies to help support families, including childcare at work and national paid maternity leave, which are commonplace in other countries.

"When our parents married, there was a sense that you were marrying for life," said Edward Zigler, founder and director of Yale's Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. "That sense is not as prevalent."

While public spending on child welfare and education is higher in the U.S. than in other countries - $160,000 per child compared to $149,000 -- researchers noted most of those funds are spent after the crucial early childhood years.

"This means early investment - including childcare and support for families around the time of birth - could be strengthened," the authors wrote in a separate paper examining the United States.

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