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Minnesota has second-lowest rate of single-parent households

A common consequence of divorce is that the children live primarily with one parent, instead of two parents as they once did. Raising a child as a single parent can be a big challenge, though child support helps.

In Minnesota, single parenthood is actually relatively rare, compared with the rest of the country. According to a study discussed in The New York Times, 56 percent of Minnesota children live with their married, biological parents, the second-highest rate in the United States. Only Utah at 57 percent had a higher percentage.

As the Times interprets the data, states with lower rates of divorced single parents form a rough arc that runs from Utah, north through the Dakotas and Minnesota, and curls through New England down into New Jersey. Meanwhile, states with the highest rates of two-parent households include Mississippi (32 percent), Arkansas (37 percent), Nevada (39 percent) and Oklahoma (39 percent).

These statistics refer specifically to children who live with their married parents. But divorce is no longer the primary cause of single-parent households. Both divorce and marriage have gone down in recent years, while single parenthood has gone up.

Some experts say that children who live with both their parents tend to do better as adults, but of course many children of single parents grow up to be successful in their personal and professional lives.

For their parents, priorities include making sure the kids do not suffer economically because the other parent is no longer living with them. And noncustodial parents who are not unfit are eligible for parenting time, so that they can still be a part of the children’s lives.

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