In this chapter, we have examined the economic well-being of single parents in a cross-national perspective and compared their wealth to that of other family types. Across seven countries that represent various welfare systems, we have found similarities and differences in economic well-being as measured by wealth. In most countries, single parents have less than 50% of the level of wealth in the hands of their coupled counterparts. Homeownership contributes positively to wealth accumulation. Among homeowners, the wealth gaps between single- and couple-parent homeowners are smaller than the gaps between the overall population and renters. When studying single parents’ economic well-being it is important to keep in mind that how you become a single parent. Our results suggest that, to be better off, single- parents would need to be homeowners not living in the United States, even if they are highly educated single parents at the bottom of the wealth distribution. Since single-parents are often at the receiving end of social benefits, means-tested (not universal) benefits hamper their wealth accumulation.
Reference: SIERMINSKA Eva. The 'wealth-being' of single-parents. In: Rense Nieuwenhuis and Laurie Maldonado (Eds.) The triple bind of single-parent families: Resources, employment and policies to improve wellbeing. Policy Press, 2018, pp. 51-80.Keywords: