HC Deb 02 March 1989 vol 148 cc316-7W
Sir Ian Gilmour

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any estimate of the numbers and percentages of children being brought up in(a) once-married two-parent families, (b) two-parent families where the parents are married, but one parent is not the natural parent, (c) two-parent families where the parents are not married and (d) lone-parent families, distinguishing between widowers and widows, divorced, separated and never-married lone parents.

Mr. Freeman

I regret that not all the information requested is available. The numbers and percentages of dependent children in the different types of families in Great Britain in 1986 are estimated to be as follows:

Number of dependent children thousands Percentage
Dependent children in:
Married couple families (includes some cohabiting couples) 11,500 87.6
Lone mother families
Single 310 2.4
Separated 340 2.6
Divorced 730 5.5
Widowed 120 0.9
Lone father families
Single 10 1.1
Separated 40
Divorced 60
Widowed 40
All dependent children 13,140 100

Source: General household survey and labour force survey.


1. Components do not add precisely to total, because of rounding.

2. A dependent child is one aged under 16 or from 16 to 18 and in full-time education or on one of the Government training schemes.

3. Adults with children are classified as lone parents if they did not describe themselves as either married or living together as married.

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