Fall in number of dependent children in married couple families
The number of dependent children living in families in the UK has remained stable between 2001 and 2010 at 13.3 million. While the number of dependent children has not significantly changed, the types of families in which they live have changed.
The chart shows that the number of dependent children living in married couple families decreased by 673,000 in 2001 to 8.4 million in 2010. Over the same period, dependent children living in opposite sex cohabiting couple families increased by 438,000 to 1.8 million and those living in lone parent families increased by 220,000 to 3.1 million.
Families with dependent children
Between 2001 and 2010 the number of families with dependent children increased by 4 per cent to 7.7 million in 2010. Of these, the percentage of families with only one dependent child increased by four percentage points to 46 per cent, while the percentage of families with two or more dependent children in the family decreased. This does not necessarily mean that the average number of children born to a woman is falling as it may simply reflect the increasing age at which women are having children.
Between 2001 and 2010 opposite sex cohabiting couple families with dependent children increased by a third to 1.1 million in 2010, while lone parent families with dependent children increased by 12 per cent to 2.0 million. Married couple families with dependent children remained the most common family type with dependent children, despite the number decreasing by four per cent to 4.6 million in 2010.
Source: Office for National Statistics
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