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Poverty at a Racial Crossroads: Poverty Among Multiracial Children of Single Mothers


  • This article was edited by David H. Demo.

Department of Sociology, MS-28, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005 (


Although multiracial youth represent a growing segment of children in all American families, we have little information on their well-being within single-mother households. This article examines multiracial children's level of poverty within single-mother families to identify the degree to which they may stand out from their monoracial peers. Using data from the 2006–2008 American Community Survey (3-year estimates), we explore the level of racial disparities in child poverty between monoracial White children and monoracial and multiracial children of color. Fully adjusted multivariate logistic regression analyses (n = 359,588) reveal that nearly all children of color are more likely to be poor than White children. Yet many multiracial children appear to hold an in-between status in which they experience lower rates of poverty than monoracial children of color. The high level of variation across groups suggests that the relationship between race and childhood poverty is more complicated than generally presumed.