If you want to know more, ignore the stereotypes altogether and get to know the single mom who lives next door or whose children attend the same school as your own kids.

According to the Census data: She and Her Children Do Not Live in Poverty One single parent family in poverty is one too many, but according to the U. Census data, poverty isn't the norm for most single parent families.

However, custodial single mothers and their children are twice as likely to live in poverty as the general population.

According to the Census: While these numbers give a snapshot, they don't tell the real story about what it means to be a single parent.

For every story you hear about a single mom or dad abusing government benefits or living up to some other negative stereotype, remember that those behaviors don't reflect the reality most single parent families face.

Or, if children were born out of wedlock, they would be adopted and raised by generous, caring couples. society has changed, however, and so have attitudes towards marriage and children.

Society assumed that children needed this stability in order to thrive. Society no longer assumes that married parents are the norm.

At the same time, social science research has confirmed the wisdom and value of traditional practice.

There are a lot of assumptions out there about single parents -- and particularly single moms.

For example, there are people who believe that "most" single moms choose to raise their kids solo, are unemployed, and receive government assistance. Census data, the actual single parent statistics may surprise you.

While every family's story is different, most don't support these assumptions. Let's take a look..., a report released by the U. Census Bureau every two years (and most recently in December 2011), there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 22 million children. Despite negative assumptions that most single moms "selfishly" chose to raise their kids solo, the majority of individuals raising children alone started out in committed relationships and never expected to be single parents.

This number represents approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U. Here's a picture of the "typical" single parent, according to the U. Census Bureau: She's a Single Mother The presumption that most single parents are mothers is accurate.