15 May 2013
Family Life in the UK
Size of Households
Size of households
There were 26.4 million households in the UK in 2013.
- 29 per cent consisted of only one person. In 1973 nine per cent of adults lived alone.
- 20 per cent consisted of four or more people.
- 12.3 million household consist of a couple with or without children.
- The average size of household in the UK in 2013 was 2.4
- 1.7 is the average number of dependent children in a family
Source Families and Households 2013. ONS October 2013
In 2013 there were 18.2 million families in the UK, 7.7 million (42 per cent) of those families have dependent children.
Here are some additional statistics from the Families and Households statistical Bulletin published by ONS in 2013:
- 12.3 million of UK households consisted of a married couple with or without children.
- 7.7 million married couple families have no dependent children
- 4.7 million married couple families have dependent children
- The percentage of families that have just one dependent child has increased from 42 per cent in 1996 to 47 per cent in 2013.
- 1.9 million families consist of a single parent and dependent children
- 3. million children live in families headed by a lone parent
- 25% of all families with dependent children are one parent families
- women account for 91% of all lone parent with children families
- 41 per cent of children living in one-parent families are living in poverty.
- 23 per cent of children from two-parent households are living in poverty.
- Within black households, 47 per cent of children live in poverty.
- Within Pakistani and Bangladeshi households 58 per cent of children live in poverty.
- 26 per cent of children from white households are living in poverty.
Source: Department for Work and Pensions, 2012, Households Below Average Income 2010/2011
- 95 per cent of couple families with one or two dependent children had one or both parents working in 2012.
- 87 per cent of couple families with three or more dependent children had one or both parents working.
- 62 per cent of lone parents with one or two dependent children were working in 2012.
- 38 per cent of lone parents with three or more children were working in 2012.
Source: Family Size in 2012. Published by ONS March 2013
- The average completed family size for women born in 1967, and reaching age 45 in 2012, was 1.91 children per woman. This compares with their mothers' generation, represented by women born in 1940, who had on average 2.36 children.
- Most women who give birth will have two children.
- One in 10 women born in 1967 had four or more children but for women born in 1940 one in five would have had four or more children.
- One in five women born in 1967 remained childless whereas for women born in 1940 only one in nine would have remained childless.
Source: Cohort Fertility, England and Wales 2012.Published by ONS December 2013
- There were 3 million opposite sex cohabiting couples in 2013. This figure has doubled in the last 15 years.
- 1.2 million of these families had dependent children. This figure has also doubled over the last 15 years.
In a survey of published research projects on the effect of cohabitation - Marriage Lite: The rise of Cohabitation and it
's consequences by Patricia Morgan found that:
- On average, cohabitations last less than two years before breaking up or converting to marriage.
- Less than four per cent of cohabitations last for 10 years or more.
- Cohabiting influences later marriages. The more often and the longer that men and women cohabit, the more likely they are to divorce later.
- Both men and women in cohabiting relationships are more likely to be unfaithful to their partners than married people.
- Children born to cohabiting parents are more likely to experience a series of disruptions in their family life.
A factsheet from Morgan's survey on cohabitation is available free of charge from: http://www.civitas.org.uk/hwu/cohabitation.pdf
Over the last 3 decades marriage rates have fallen considerably and the number of married couple families have therefore fallen. Important drivers of this trend are that men and women are delaying getting married, or not marrying at all.
- The number of married couple families decreased by 280,000 between 2001 and 2011 to 12 million in 2011.
- The provisional number of religious ceremonies in 2010 was 76,700, an increase of 1,140 over the 2009 figure.
- Religious marriages accounted for almost a third of all marriages in 2010.
- For the sixth consecutive year, there were fewer religious ceremonies in 2010 than ceremonies in approved premises. There were 124,570 marriages in approved premises in 2010, a 12 per cent increase from 2009.
- The provisional number of civil ceremonies in 2010 was 164,330, accounting for over two-thirds (68 per cent) of all marriages.
- The proportion of civil ceremonies first exceeded religious ceremonies in 1992.
- The provisional number of weddings registered in England and Wales in 2010 is 241,100. This is an increase of 5.7 per cent from 2009, the largest increase since 2003.
Source: Marriages in England and Wales 2010 Office for National Statistics Statistical Bulletin February 2012
- In Northern Ireland there were 8366 marriages in 2011, an increase of 199 over the number for 2010.
- In Scotland there were 30,534 marriages in 2012, the highest number since 2005.
Births Outside of Marriage
- In 2011 nearly half of all babies in England and Wales were born outside marriage/civil partnership (47.2 per cent), compared with 46.8 per cent in 2010 and 40.0 per cent in 2001. The figure was 8 per cent in 1971.
Source: Births and Deaths in England and Wales 2011 ONS Statistical Bulletin Oct 2012
- In Northern Ireland 41.9 per cent of babies born in 2011 were born to unmarried parents.
- In Scotland more than half (51.7 per cent) of all babies born in Scotland in 2012 were born to unmarried parents.
- The number of divorces in England and Wales in 2012 was 118,140, an increase of 582 over the 2011 figure
- The divorce rate has been stable over the last year standing at 10.8 divorcing people per thousand married population. It was from 13.3 per thousand in 2002.
- The most common age at divorce was 40-44 years
- Overall 42% of marriages will end in divorce.
- The number of marriages dissolved in Northern Ireland in 2011 was 2,343. This a decrease from 2010 when there were 2,600 divorces.
Source Statistical Bulletin: Marriages, divorces and civil partnerships in NI (2010) Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency July 2011
- There were 9,862 divorces in Scotland in 2011; the lowest number of divorces in Scotland since 1979.
Children affected by divorces
- Half of couples (49 percent) divorcing in England and Wales in 2011 had at least one child aged under 16 living in the family.
- There were 100,760 children aged under 16 in families where the parents were divorcing in 2011. That's 1.76 children aged per divorcing couple.
- Over a fifth (21 per cent) of the children in 2011 were under five and 64 per cent were under 11.
Source Divorces in England Wales 2011 Office for National Statistics Statistical Bulletin December 2012
Children affected by family breakdown are:
- 75 per cent more likely to fail at school
- 70 per cent more likely to become addicted to drug
- 50 per cent more likely to have alcohol abuse problems
- 40 per cent more likely to have serious debt problems
Source Breakthrough Report Social Justice Policy Group July 2007.
- The number of civil partnerships formed in the UK by same-sex couples was 6,795 in 2011 compared with 6,385 in 2010.
- The total number of civil partnerships formed in the UK since the Civil Partnership Act came into force in December 2005, up to the end of 2011, is 53,417.
- There was a 28.7 per cent increase in the number of civil partnership dissolutions in 2011 with 572 partnerships ending in dissolution.
Source: Civil Partnerships in the UK 2011 Office of National Statistics Statistical Bulletin July 2012
- There were 67,050 children in local authority care in England on March 31st 2012. 50,260 (75 percent) were in foster care placements. 3, 450 looked after children were adopted in 2012.
- There were 2,606 children in local authority care in Northern Ireland on 31st March 2010. 60 looked after children were adopted in the year to March 2012.
- There were 5276 children in local authority care in Wales on 31st March 2012. 245 children were adopted during the year to March 2012.
- There were 16,171 children in local authority care in Scotland on 31st July 2011. 466 adoptions took place in 2010.