No longer is the modern British family seen as two parents and two or more children living together. A study has found that what people consider to be a family has changed considerably in the past few years, with hope from 64% of people surveyed that this will continue to change for the better.


"As we looked at the data, what immediately struck us was how open the majority of people are to new models of family,” said Sarah King, managing director of The Futures Company, who conducted the research for Scottish Widows and the Centre for the Modern Family.

The survey found that 77% believe single parents can be called a ‘proper family’.

“Fatherlessness no longer excludes you from family status, people are less judged simply because they don’t conform to a traditional model of family,” explained Sarah.

Following the research by The Centre for the Modern Family, the findings have seen people split into 10 groups, depending on what they believe makes up a family:

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  1. Onderfuls – young, single and with a few close family relationships
  2. Modern Classics – more traditional family structure
  3. Born and Red – open about their views and believe strongly that the family is changing
  4. Middletowners – affluent, close to family, disagree with out of date society view
  5. Deconstruction Workers – likely to be middle-aged divorcees, who feel like society doesn’t cater for their family set-up
  6. Critical Mass – single or single parents, struggling to cope financially and feel excluded from society
  7. New Traditionalists – made up mainly of ethnic minorities with a strong emphasis on cultural heritage, marriage and close family relationships
  8. Groan Ups – older generations with typical outlook on the family
  9. Once Upon a Timers – supporters of traditional family models especially marriage, who are young, from ethnic minorities or close-knit families
  10. Old Loud and Prouds – mainly retirees who have traditional views shared by their families

“I think it’s realistic and important to acknowledge that there are some very broad differences of opinion within the spectrum and it’s a fact that they’re unlikely to be reconciled with each other,” said Sarah.

How is your family made up? Do you believe society ignores some family models?

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