Despite the increased individual opportunities from these transitions, economic pressures remain a major constraint on whether people will choose to have children and how many. This is especially true for single parents, and single mothers in particular. Household incomes in a single-parent home are naturally lower with one earner instead of two. The typical married couple with children has a household income of $96,571, while single fathers bring in $56,156, and single mothers earn only $40,815. In addition to earning less, single parent homes may also incur greater individual expenses associated with rearing children because they cannot share costs for expenses like housing and transportation, and they may rely more heavily on child care.
For families who want children but are worried about the costs, one possibility is to seek out locations that have lower living costs, and there is some indication that families are already doing so. Utah leads the nation at 35.9% of households with children, followed by Texas at 31.5%, and the two states are tied for 23rd in cost of living, 3.5% below the national average. In contrast, some of the states with the highest cost of living, like Hawaii or many states in the Northeast, tend to have lower percentages of families with children. The outlier is California, which ranks third-highest in the percentage of households with children and second-highest for cost of living.