Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Census & Signs of Western Decline
Census figures in
Memphis represent a modest decline in two-parent households since 2000, when 38.4 percent of kids lived in them. They also depict a sharp contrast between the city and the rest of Memphis Shelby County, with 69.7 percent of the 76,774 Shelby County children living outside city limits residing in two-parent households. National figures from the 2010 Census aren't available yet, but statewide, 58 percent of Memphis 's nearly 1.5 million children are in two-parent homes. Researchers and area officials say the trend toward single-parent homes is highly worrisome, but not new or limited to Tennessee . Many of Memphis ' most difficult problems are rooted in the growing prevalence of single-parent households in the poverty-stricken inner city, said Eugene K. Cashman Jr., president and CEO of the Urban Child Institute. “The most critical years for brain development are from conception to age 3, “Cashman said. "Being in a single-family home is a stressful environment," he said. "There's undoubtedly less resources. There's less time to touch, talk, read and play with them." The educational disadvantages translate into a less-equipped workforce, which leads to diminished economic development and a continuing cycle of poverty, Cashman said. More here.