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Cedar Rapids ranks No. 3 for single mothers

Ranking comes from a 24/7 Wall St. report

Third Street SE runs through New Bohemia (foreground) and downtown Cedar Rapids as seen from the top of Mount Trashmore on Tuesday, May 14, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Third Street SE runs through New Bohemia (foreground) and downtown Cedar Rapids as seen from the top of Mount Trashmore on Tuesday, May 14, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids is among the best metropolitan areas in the country for single mothers, according to a report released last week.

Apartment rents are low in Cedar Rapids and a high share of single mothers own their own homes, according to a special report by 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware corporation running web-based financial news and opinion content.

“A disproportionately high share of Cedar Rapids single mothers own their homes,” according to 24/7 Wall St. “Of single-mother households in the area, 58.9 percent own their homes compared to 45.6 percent of single mothers nationally.”

Cedar Rapids ranks the No. 3 best place in the nation to live for single mothers, according to 24/7 Wall St. Others in the top 5 are:

No. 5 — Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

No. 4 — Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut

No. 2 — Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut

No. 1 — Norwich-New London, Connecticut.

For Cedar Rapids, a typical single mother must work 52.9 hours per week to afford rent, which is lower than other metro areas; market rate rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $718; the median income for a single mother’s household is $26,448 annually; 52.6 percent of 3- and 4-year olds are enrolled in school, according to 24/7 Wall St.

“Coupled with the $26,448 a typical single mother household earns annually — more than the median for single mothers nationwide — Cedar Rapids is relatively affordable,” the report stated.

At the bottom of the list, urban Honolulu, Hawaii, ranked as the worst area for single mothers.

The report is based on an index of six measures for each U.S. metro area, including “the median income for a single mother household with children under 18 years old, the share of single mother households in poverty, the average income deficit for single mother households below the poverty line, the share of 3- and 4-year olds enrolled in school, the share of workers over 16 years old using public transportation to commute, and the number of hours a week a typical single mother would need to work to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.”

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Fair market rent is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to 24/7 Wall St. Metro areas with a high margin for error in the data, which came from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, were excluded.

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