A project of

Unmarried Women and Poverty

October 7, 2015

Single women are having a harder time making ends meet than married women in America. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to document the different economic realities that define the lives and needs of the one out of every two U.S. women who are widowed, divorced, separated or have never been married. Our goal is to use data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, and other sources to make the case for a policy agenda that speaks to and improves the lives of half of all American women.

More than one in five unmarried women (22.7 percent) live in poverty. Single women are more than three times as likely than married women (6.3 percent) or married men (6.3 percent) to live in poverty.

2014 Population and Poverty Rates for U.S. Women, by Marital Status

Marital StatusTotal# in Poverty% in Poverty
Married, Spouse Present62,219,0003,910,0006.3%
Never Married31,871,0007,610,00023.9%

Data Source
U.S. Census Bureau: Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2015.