Number of single parent families reaches two million

The concept of family is changing as more than a quarter of families are now headed by a lone parent and fewer parents get married

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Britain has the highest number of single parent families in Europe, according to new data. There are now nearly two million families headed by a lone parent in this country. And in the vast majority (92%) of cases it’s the mum who takes the job on.

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“Women are more likely to take the main caring responsibilities for any children when relationships break down, and therefore become lone parents,” stated the report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The report also found that the decreasing popularity of marriage has affected the number of families with married parents. Between 2001 and 2011 the number of married couples decreased by 262,000 while the number of cohabiting couples rose from 2.1million to 2.9 million.

Some groups have urged the Government to give tax breaks to married couples in an effort to boost the institution. But there are no plans to bring these in until at least the next election.

The stats also showed that more couples have one rather than two children compared to a decade ago, though the report suggested this could be because women were waiting longer to start and add to their families.

On the whole, the concept of family has change massively in the past few decades and continues to evolve. What do you consider family?

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