Poverty in female-headed households: residential differences

D. K. McLaughlin, C. Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Individual and structural explanations for poverty have been applied in studies of the poverty status of particular individuals. In this paper, we examine how individual characteristics and the employment opportunity structure vary for female-headed households in nonmetropolitan areas, central city areas, and metropolitan areas that are not central city areas. Using data from the 1980 Census of Population and Housing, we find that individual household characteristics do differ by residence, but that there is generally no difference by residence in the characteristics that influence poverty status. Employed nonmetro female heads of households are more likely to report poverty incomes, and the relatively low contribution of wages in raising nonmetro households above the poverty level suggests that the opportunity structure for female-headed households varies by residence and is poorer for nonmetro residents. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-306
Number of pages20
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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