Female headed households (% of households with a female head) - Country Ranking

Definition: Female headed households shows the percentage of households with a female head.

Source: Demographic and Health Surveys.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Ukraine 49.40 2007
2 Eswatini 47.90 2007
3 Eritrea 46.70 2002
4 Namibia 43.90 2013
5 South Africa 41.90 1998
6 Haiti 40.60 2012
6 Zimbabwe 40.60 2015
8 Dominican Republic 39.90 2013
9 Comoros 39.30 2012
10 São Tomé and Principe 39.00 2009
11 Colombia 36.40 2015
12 Kenya 36.10 2015
13 Mozambique 35.60 2011
14 Lesotho 35.50 2014
15 Liberia 35.20 2013
16 Angola 34.50 2016
17 Moldova 33.70 2005
18 Guyana 33.50 2009
19 Kazakhstan 33.40 1999
20 Armenia 33.20 2016
21 Ghana 31.40 2016
22 Nepal 31.30 2016
23 Rwanda 31.00 2015
24 Nicaragua 30.90 2001
25 Malawi 30.60 2016
25 Senegal 30.60 2016
27 Gabon 30.00 2012
28 Mauritania 29.10 2001
29 Madagascar 28.50 2016
30 Honduras 28.10 2012
31 Togo 27.50 2014
32 Vietnam 27.00 2005
33 Kyrgyz Republic 26.90 2012
33 Cambodia 26.90 2014
33 Uganda 26.90 2015
36 Zambia 26.60 2014
37 Turkmenistan 26.50 2000
38 Peru 25.70 2012
39 Cameroon 25.50 2011
40 Ethiopia 25.40 2016
41 Sierra Leone 25.10 2016
41 Guatemala 25.10 2015
43 Dem. Rep. Congo 24.90 2014
44 Azerbaijan 24.70 2006
45 Burundi 24.50 2012
45 Tanzania 24.50 2016
47 Congo 23.00 2012
48 Bolivia 22.90 2008
48 Benin 22.90 2012
50 Myanmar 22.50 2016
51 The Gambia 22.30 2013
52 Chad 22.10 2015
53 Tajikistan 21.40 2012
54 Central African Republic 21.00 1995
55 Brazil 20.00 1996
56 Philippines 18.90 2013
57 Côte d'Ivoire 18.00 2012
58 Uzbekistan 17.80 2006
59 Guinea 17.30 2012
60 Morocco 17.10 2004
61 Paraguay 17.00 1990
62 Niger 15.90 2012
63 Albania 15.60 2009
64 Indonesia 14.80 2012
65 Nigeria 14.60 2015
66 India 14.40 2006
67 Jordan 12.90 2012
67 Egypt 12.90 2014
69 Bangladesh 12.50 2014
69 Turkey 12.50 2003
71 Timor-Leste 12.30 2010
72 Burkina Faso 11.80 2014
73 Pakistan 10.90 2013
74 Yemen 7.80 2013
75 Mali 5.30 2015
76 Afghanistan 1.70 2015

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Development Relevance: The household is regarded as the fundamental social and economic unit of society. Transformation at the household form, therefore, has impact at the aggregate level of a country. An increasing number of female-headed households (FHHs) in developing countries are emerging as a result of economic changes, economic downturns and social pressures, rather than as a product of cultural patterns. In many developing countries of Asia and Latin American, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of FHHs. The majority of women in FHHs in developing countries are widowed, and to a lesser extent divorced or separated. In the developed countries most female-headed households consist of women who are never married or who are divorced. The feminization of poverty - the process whereby poverty becomes more concentrated among Individuals living in female-headed households - is a key concept for describing FHH social and economic levels.

Limitations and Exceptions: The definition of female-headed household differs greatly across countries, making cross-country comparison difficult. In some cases it is assumed that a woman cannot be the head of any household with an adult male, because of sex-biased stereotype. Caution should be used in interpreting the data.

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The composition of a household plays a role in the determining other characteristics of a household, such as how many children are sent to school and the distribution of family income.