The number of children living in a household with two parents has reached a historic low — an alarming statistic considering there's a strong link between parents’ marital status and their child’s likelihood of living at the economic margins in the U.S.

Results from a Pew Research Center study show a record-low 62 percent of children younger than 18 lived in a household with two married parents in 2014, down from 87 percent in 1960. Although there are still more children living in households with two married parents than in households with one parent or cohabiting parents, results from the study show there has been a steady decline in children living with two married parents over the past 50 years. Meanwhile, there has been a steady increase in the number of children living in a one parent household over that same period of time, from 9 percent in 1960 to 26 percent in 2014.

The economic outcomes for these different households vary. In 2014, the percent of children living in poverty was highest for one parent households at 31 percent. Ten percent of children from married-parent households and 21 percent of those who shared a home with cohabiting parents lived below the poverty line.

The study revealed that 82 percent of Asian-American, 72 percent of white children, and 55 percent of Latino children live with two married parents. In contrast, only 31 percent of black children live with two married parents, while more than half are living in a single-parent household.

About 22 percent of children in the U.S. are part of families with incomes below the federal poverty level — $23,550 per year for a family of four, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP). Children living in poverty tend to have limited access to a safe environment, and to the kinds of extracurricular and enrichment activities that many children from affluent families have within an arm’s reach.

Poverty not only has the ability to impede children’s ability to learn, it also contributes to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty can also contribute to poor physical and mental health, and low-income parents are more likely to express concerns about their children being victims of violence. Child poverty rates are highest among black, Latino, and American-Indian children.

According to the study, parents who made at least $75,000 annually were nearly twice as likely as low-income parents to rate their neighborhood as an “excellent” or “very good” place to raise kids. Only a third of parents with annual family incomes less than $30,000 say their neighborhood is only a “fair” or “poor” place to raise kids, while 7 percent of parents with incomes in excess of $75,000 gave their neighborhood similarly low ratings.

Effective public policies that create a work support system enabling full-time workers to provide for their families, and provide high-quality early care and learning experiences for their children can make a difference, according to NCCP.