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Parents Owe $14.3 Billion In Outstanding Child Support

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I’ve been working with NPR’s Weekend Edition team to discuss a number of the week. This time it’s $14.3 billion — the total amount of child support awarded to custodial parents that went unpaid in the United States in 2011. I started to look into the granular data behind that number after a reader suggested that dads are less likely than moms to receive the child support payments they’re due. What we found were some surprising trends when it came to gender, income and marital status.

Have a listen and tell us what you think in the comments. You can also read more from me on custodial parents and child support payments.


Mona Chalabi is data editor at the Guardian US, and a columnist at New York Magazine. She was previously a lead news writer for FiveThirtyEight.