Census Bureau Reports That the Percentage of Black Children Being Raised in Two-Parent Families Is on the Rise: What Does This Mean for Education?

It is widely believed that children who are raised in two-parent families do better in school and are better prepared for college. Two-parent families tend to have higher incomes. With two parents in the home, discipline is more easily enforced and there is a greater likelihood that a parent will be available to help children with homework and to participate in school activities. The presence of a male role model in the home can also help with the upbringing of young male children.

If two-parent families are favorable for fostering educational opportunities for young black children, then we have some good news to report. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the percentage of black children living in two-parent homes may be at the highest level in nearly 30 years. The data shows that 40 percent of black children now live in two-parent homes, up from 35 percent in 2004. In 1970, nearly 60 percent of black children lived with two parents.

The Census Bureau says that an increase in black families from Africa and the Caribbean may explain some of the increase. But it also says that a rise in middle-class black families may be a contributing factor.

Despite this good news, a large racial gap remains. Some 77 percent of white children now live in two-parent homes, nearly double the rate for blacks.