Singles’ similar purchasing probabilities

October 18, 2002

There is little difference between single fathers and single mothers with respect to the probability they will purchase many consumer items. Some apparent differences, such as the likelihood of paying fees and admissions for entertainment, are not statistically significant.

Probabilities of purchase by single parents, 1998-99
[Chart data—TXT]

In other words, there is no underlying difference between single fathers and single mothers that causes a change in their probability of purchasing most items.

One exception is the statistically-significant difference in the probabilities that single fathers and single mothers would have purchased children’s apparel and related services. Single mothers are much more likely to have made such a purchase in the 3 months prior to the spending survey than are single fathers.

These findings are based on logit regression analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data. See Geoffrey D. Paulin and Yoon G. Lee, "Expenditures of single parents: how does gender fit in?" Monthly Labor Review, July 2002.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Singles’ similar purchasing probabilities on the Internet at (visited May 25, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics