Gulf News

Single parent families on the rise


The number of single-parent families in Britain has tripled since 1971, while young people are staying at home for longer, many well into their 20s, new data showed yesterday.

Soaring house prices are having a growing impact on social trends, with people living in smaller spaces, while the number of people living on their own has also doubled in the past 35 years, according to the official figures.

Some 24 per cent of children lived with just one parent in 2006, compared to 22 per cent in 2001, and 21 per cent in 1996, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Social Trends report.

Nine out of 10 lone-parent families are headed by mothers, said the report which also showed that single parent families lived in worse accommodat­ion.

“Recent decades have seen marked changes in household patterns,” the report said.

Less common

“The traditiona­l family household of a married couple with a child or children is less common, while there has been an increase in lone-parent households,” it added.

Meanwhile homes are getting smaller, with twobedroom properties replacing four-bedroom homes as the most common type of newly-build house, and flats also on the increase.

In the decade to 2005, the average density of new homes built in England rose from 24 to 40 per hectare.

The number of people living alone in Britain more than doubled from three million to seven million between 1971 and 2005.

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