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Fatherless children, dangerous cities: Numbers confirm deep roots of urban crime epidemic

High rates of crime, single-parent homes largely overlap, data confirms.

Published: February 5, 2023 2:39pm

Updated: February 5, 2023 11:17pm

As Just the News recently reported, the U.S. is now home to 11 of the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world.  All 11, as the piece noted, are governed by Democratic mayors. All 11 also have Democratic district attorneys.

Permissive criminal justice policies are widely thought to be large factors driving such grim statistics. Dig a little deeper, however, and an even more important cause of the crime epidemic plaguing blue cities comes into sharp focus: Many of these cities are also home to a staggering percentage of single-parent households, the great majority of which are headed by single mothers.

This large overlap shouldn't be surprising for two reasons. First, the U.S. has the highest rate of single-parent households in the world. Second, the connection between single-parent households and crime is very strong. According to research carried out by Jerrod Brown, a behavioral specialist at Concordia St. Paul, the extant literature "suggests that children raised in single-parent households experience more physical and psychological problems compared to those raised in two-parent households." Moreover, he added, the "implications of homes in which fathers are absent may be important to explore for criminal justice and mental health professionals."

There are roughly 74 million children in the U.S. Close to 24 million, or 34%, of these children live in a single-parent family. Of these, 15 mil­lion live in moth­er-only house­holds. 

As Jack Brewer noted in a report last year for the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), a public policy think tank founded by Trump administration alumni, 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions and 85% of youth in prisons now come from fatherless homes. Fatherless children, according to the report, "are six times more likely to live in poverty and commit criminal acts than children raised in dual-parent households."

Detroit, now the world's 19th most dangerous city, is the United States' poorest city, according to World Population Review. As Money Talks News previously reported, Detroit, home to 632,000 people, has 44,234 single-parent households. Seventy-two percent of the city's families are single-parent families. Fifty-nine percent of the city's families are headed by a single mother.

The corresponding numbers for Cleveland, also among the 50 most dangerous cities, are comparably bad, with 73.3% of the city's families headed by a single parent and 58% headed by a single mother.

In Baltimore, the United States' most dangerous city and the 15th most dangerous in the world, 52.7% of the city's families are single-parent households. Only 7.6% of single-parent homes are headed by a father. 

In Memphis, the world's 18th most dangerous city, 63% of the city's families are headed by a single parent. Less than 10% have a single father at the helm.

As measured by a range of indicators, the impact of growing up in a fatherless home is simply devastating. As AFPI has emphasized:

  • 85% of American children with behavioral disorders have been raised in fatherless homes. 
  • Fatherless children are three times more likely to be behind bars by the time they turn 30 than children raised in two-parent households. 
  • Children raised without a father are also more likely to abuse drugs and exhibit delinquent behaviors. 

Research consistently shows that children raised in supportive environments where both parents are present, both physically and mentally, are less likely to engage in deviant behavior. Anti-social behaviors at an early age are a strong predictor of criminal activity in adulthood. 

If crime, incarceration and poverty rates are driven predominantly by racism, as left-wing, "antiracist" big-city mayors and DAs are wont to claim, then crime, poverty and and incarceration rates should be lowest in the least racist cities, which would presumably be those blue cities left-wing "antiracists" themselves have long controlled. Instead, it is in blue-dominated, "antiracist" cities where crime, incarceration and poverty rates are highest. 

Systemic fatherlessness, the numbers continue to show, not systemic racism, is the deep-rooted source of runaway urban crime in the U.S.

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