15 Cities With the Fewest ‘Stay-at-Home’ Parents

Young girl at window waiting for parents
Canon Boy / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Smartest Dollar.

Schools around the country are grappling with the best way to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many school districts are starting the year virtually, while others opened with a hybrid approach that combines face-to-face instruction with online learning.

Even in areas where schools are open fully, many families will choose remote learning for their kids. Regardless of the specifics, millions of American children will spend at least some of their time learning from home this year.

According to the Pew Research Center, stay-at-home moms and dads account for about one-fifth of U.S. parents, meaning 80% of parents are employed either full time or part time.

When considering households with children under 14, census data shows that more than 40% of families potentially lack an available parent to supervise the kids in the event of school closures. This means that as of 2018 (the most recent census data release), either both parents worked full time in two-parent families or the one parent worked full time in single-parent families.

The number of single parents has climbed steadily since 1950, and these parents are more likely to work full time than those in married or cohabiting-couple households. Among single-parent households with children under 14 years old, 57% have a full-time working parent. Among two-parent households, just 37% have both parents working full time.

Although many people now work from home due to the pandemic, juggling work while supervising children is no easy feat. Families with a non-full-time working parent are better positioned to handle the school year, whereas those without that luxury face unprecedented challenges.

To find the metropolitan areas with the most full-time working parents (and thus the fewest parents not working full time), researchers at Smartest Dollar, a review site for financial products and services, analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey.

The researchers ranked metros according to the share of households with children under 14 that potentially lack a parent to watch the kids (defined as either both parents working full time in two-parent families, or the one parent working full time in single-parent families). Researchers also calculated the number of married-couple households with both parents working, the number of single-parent households with a working parent, and the total number of households with kids under 14.

Here are the large metropolitan areas with the most full-time working parents.

15. Milwaukee

Milwaukee
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 45.1%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 43,574
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 18,860
  • Total households with kids under 14: 138,404
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8

14. Hartford, Connecticut

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 45.2%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 30,307
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 14,553
  • Total households with kids under 14: 99,246
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

13. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 45.6%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 38,604
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 23,395
  • Total households with kids under 14: 135,845
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

12. Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 46%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 156,897
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 73,840
  • Total households with kids under 14: 501,415
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8

11. Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 46.3%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 155,231
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 63,666
  • Total households with kids under 14: 472,971
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8

10. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Scruggelgreen / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 46.4%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 63,581
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 25,426
  • Total households with kids under 14: 191,680
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.9

9. Cincinnati

Cincinnati
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 46.5%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 55,224
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 29,006
  • Total households with kids under 14: 181,264
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.9

8. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. traffic with Capitol Building in background
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 47.1%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 175,153
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 63,972
  • Total households with kids under 14: 507,566
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

7. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee
Steven Frame / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 47.2%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 25,542
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 21,106
  • Total households with kids under 14: 98,730
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8

6. Minneapolis

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Roger Siljander / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 47.8%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 122,817
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 36,851
  • Total households with kids under 14: 333,809
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8

5. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
Randall Vermillion / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 48%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 56,136
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 26,222
  • Total households with kids under 14: 171,575
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

4. Louisville, Kentucky

A historic district of Louisville, Kentucky
Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 48.1%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 34,684
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 13,223
  • Total households with kids under 14: 99,597
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

3. Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 48.5%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 33,841
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 15,115
  • Total households with kids under 14: 100,893
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

2. Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 49.4%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 74,534
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 32,121
  • Total households with kids under 14: 215,702
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7

1. St. Louis

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri
KENNY TONG / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 52%
  • Married-couple households with both parents working: 84,968
  • Single-parent households with a working parent: 41,283
  • Total households with kids under 14: 242,865
  • Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have

Take control of your health and safety by customizing your own first-aid kit with these Amazon purchases.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference
11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference

These small money moves will pay off big in the long run.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them
2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

If you commit either of these credit card sins, you are likely losing money every time you use a card. Here’s how to easily right this wrong.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon
4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon

These states are considering reducing — or even eliminating — income taxes on Social Security benefits.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.