Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of Nonresident Parents 

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Year Published
Author (Individual)
Landers, P. A.  
Author (Organization)
Congressional Research Service 
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format

A nonresident parent is a person 15 years or older who does not reside for most nights in the same household as one or more of his or her biological, adopted, or stepchildren under age 21. Research finds that many nonresident parents and their children are economically vulnerable, and government policies often have substantial impacts on their lives. This report reviews demographic, relationship, and economic characteristics of nonresident parents, with additional focus on the low-income subset of such parents. The report also presents data on nonresident parents’ child support payments. They found that nonresident parents were disproportionately male, older, non-Hispanic Black who reported less formal education and were less likely to report working than resident-only parents. Relative to moderate- and higher-income nonresident parents, low-income nonresident parents were more likely to be female, younger, non-Hispanic Black, and report less formal education and less likeliness to have worked in 2017. In addition, a majority of nonresident parents (5.4 million) reported paying child support in 2017. This report concludes by discussing potential implications for policymaking.  

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