MILWAUKEE — A
recent survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau found the number
of single mothers living in poverty in Wisconsin is increasing.
American Community Survey, which focused on family homes with
children under the age of 18, found four out of 10 single-mother
households in the state were living in poverty last year. The
increase from nearly 40 percent in 2012 to 42.5 percent in 2013 is
statistically significant, according to the bureau.
household data doesn't clearly define what role the children's
fathers play, such as the contribution of child support or
visitation rights, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1ATaBfM
) reported. But the survey asked participants to include all forms
of income, including unemployment, child support or alimony.
Community Survey samples about 3.5 million addresses each year.
The information it gathers helps determine the distribution of
federal and state funds.
address the results of the report by figuring out how it can
create better conditions for all of Wisconsin's women and
families, according to Magda Peck, dean of the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health.
a known significant driver of poor health, compromised educational
opportunities and diminished human potential, especially for women
and their children," she said.
Women are often
paid less for equal work, have less access to higher-paying jobs
and are more likely to bear the costs of raising their children,
according to Peck.
"It is a
matter of fairness and justice," she said. "We have yet
another opportunity and obligation to examine the interconnected
policies and practices that are keeping women from thriving,
families from staying stronger together, and our state from
achieving greater prosperity."
Wisconsin's seniors also increased significantly, from 7.5 percent
in 2011 to 9 percent last year, raising another red flag. The
overall amount of Wisconsin residents living in poverty remained
unchanged from 2012 to 2013, at 13.5 percent, but has increased
since 2009, when it was nearly 1 percent lower.