Single Moms Now 10 Million Strong

Intriguing piece on “the single mom” in this week’s Advertising Age. It appeals to me both because it takes a different view of the cliched “harried and hassled” single mom and because one of my closest friends became a single mom 22 years ago, long before it became a common choice.

The gist of the  article: Single moms are a force to be reckoned with. Today there are about 10 million of them in the U.S. with children younger than 18;  about 40% of all children now are born to single mothers. But these moms are older than what one typically imagines (average age, 39) and almost one-third have the support of a live-in partner.  While they do tend to have lower household incomes than their married counterparts, about 80% work.

The circumstances of their pregnancies also often defy perceptions. “That old fashioned idea that a single mother is someone who got pregnant by accident or didn’t want a child is just not true anymore. These days there are plenty of single moms by choice,” said Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents/American Baby.

She also pointed out that “Millennials seem to downplay the importance of marriage related to the importance of parenthood.” 2010 Pew research  found that 52% of Millennials think being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, compared to just 30% who said the same thing about a successful marriage.

Interestingly, in a recent Women at NBCU study,  55% of single moms agreed to the statement, “I consider myself to be a very traditional mom.”  The same study divided single moms into four groups: Girl Interrupted, Dream Girls, Survivor Mom and Secondlife Moms, each with its own very different set of experiences, influence and value to marketers, whether it’s the young Girl Interrupted’s digital communications skills or the older Survivor Mom’s brand loyalty.

For more, visit here.

Single moms — which of these four categories best describes you? Marketers, how are you targeting this  growing market?