The poor economy may have contributed to a rise in the number of rural children living with cohabitating, unmarried parents - a figure that jumped from 4 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2007, according to a recent report from the Carsey Institute. Only 4 percent of urban children live with cohabitating families.
Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the brief states that 21 percent of rural children are poor compared to 15 percent of urban children. Additionally, female and male cohabitating parents in cities are more than twice as likely than rural cohabitating parents to have earned a bachelor's degree or higher.
Because of the greater number of rural children living in cohabitating-couple households, the brief recommends that the federal government focus on rural couples when creating legislation and policies aimed at forming and maintaining married-couple families. Free, 6 pages. (603) 862-2821, www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Topics/Special%20Interest%20Areas/Rural%20Families/RuralChildrenAreMoreLikelytoLiveinCohabitatin/carseyinstitute.pdf.