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USU report finds that poverty still high for single women with young children

Woman with child
Posted at 11:12 AM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 13:12:02-05

LOGAN, Utah — Over one-third of households headed by women with children under five years old live in poverty, according to a new research study from Utah State University.

USU's Utah Women & Leadership Project found that poverty has decreased since in its report in 2016, which showed that nearly half of such households (46.9 perent) lived in poverty, but they see room for progress.

Although fewer Utahns live in poverty than the national average (nearly 9 percent versus over 12 percent nationwide) more Utah women live in poverty than men.

“Many factors influence poverty among Utah women,” said Susan Madsen, founding director of the UWLP.

“For example, the gender wage gap is one of the highest in the nation, and women are more likely to work minimum-wage and part-time jobs with no benefits. Additionally, Utah women within certain demographics, including racial groups, are even more likely to experience poverty.”

READ: New report finds childhood poverty, education gaps for Utah's Latino population

BYU Professor Dawn-Marie G. Wood, one of the lead authors for the report, stressed the need to reduce poverty among women as a way to strengthen families.

"Ultimately, decreasing poverty rates among Utah women will benefit families, positively impact children’s futures, and strengthen the influence of women in the state.”

Read the full report here and find out more about UWLP on their website.