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A single single-parent family in Loving County?

County-level data on single-parent households with children

With help from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, FRED and GeoFRED let you display sociodemographic data, often at the county level. This maps shows the proportion of households with children that have single parents. Maps can be deceiving, though. For example, urban areas with dense populations make a different visual impact than counties with, say, a large desert. In addition, the latter have data that’s more likely to flicker from year to year due to small samples. Case in point for this map: If you are eagle-eyed, you’ll notice that one county shows 100%: Loving County, Texas, with a population of 82, likely included only one household with children in the 2013 to 2015 surveys. And that was a single-parent household. (From 2009 to 2012, Loving County had either 0% or no value for single-parent families.) While this is an extreme case, a similar story may happen in several other counties. After all, the American Community Survey is based on invitations sent to 1 out of every 38 households in the U.S. While this is an impressive sample overall, for small communities it can lead to non-representative pictures.

How this map was created: The original post referenced an interactive map from our now discontinued GeoFRED site. The revised post provides a replacement map from FRED’s new mapping tool. To create FRED maps, go to the data series page in question and look for the green “VIEW MAP” button at the top right of the graph. See this post for instructions to edit a FRED map. Only series with a green map button can be mapped.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

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