New Jersey is ahead of the curve when it comes to the make-up of a typical American family, based on statistics recently released by the Kids Count Data Center.

Two out of every three U.S. kids, or 66 percent, live in a two-parent household.

"In New Jersey, it's 71 percent, so we're slightly higher, and it has been like that for about the last five years," said Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

Zalkind pointed to a reduction in single-parent households.

"Again, New Jersey is lower than the national average at 22 percent of children who live with households headed by a single mother," she said.

"On the national level, 8 percent of households are headed by a father only. In New Jersey, it's 6 percent, and again that number has been fairly stable over the last five years."

A 36-percent drop in New Jersey's teen birth rate for those between the ages of 15 and 19 over the last five years could be helping to reduce the single-parent family households and improving the two-parent family, according to Zalkind.

Zalkind believes the decrease in the number of single-headed households is a positive sign.

"When you look at some of the economic data, when we look a children living in poverty or children living in low-income families, there's an over representation of single-headed households. So when we see a drop in that, it also I think, comes with a rise in the stability and income of the family," Zalkind said.

A detailed look at the statistics can be found here:

Contact reporter Dianne DeOliveira at

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