§ Ruth Kelly:
This matter falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Steve Webb, dated 2 December 2003:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking for estimates of the number of families with (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) four or more dependent children in (i) 1973, (ii) 1983, (hi) 1993 and (iv) the latest year for which figures are available. I am replying in his absence. (141497)
Published volumes from the Censuses of 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 contain information on dependent children, and are the closest years to the periods you requested for which information is available. The information is derived from a 100 per cent count for 2001. For the 1971,1981 and 1991 Censuses, responses to some questions which needed detailed coding and were, therefore, expensive to process were processed for only a 10% sample of forms. The samples were drawn randomly. Guidance given to users for 1971 and 1981 was to gross up the figures to 100% by multiplying the sample figures by 10. In 1991 guidance was different in that users were advised to estimate 100% figures by multiplying the sample count by a sampling factor, slightly over 10 to take account of the numbers of households imputed in the 100% figures but which were not included in the 10% sample. This grossing factor varied from area to area. For households in England and Wales it was 10.2.
It should also be noted that the definition of a dependent child has varied over censuses. 32W
2001 Census England and Wales Number Families with one dependent child 2,715,241 Families with two dependent children 2,530,569 Families with three or more dependent children 1,130,891 Source: Table S007 Census 2001 National Report for England and Wales
1991 Census England and Wales Number Families with one dependent child 2,542,554 Families with two dependent children 2,437,045 Families with three or more dependent children 1,034,158 Source: 1991 Table 13 Census Household and Family Composition
1981 Census England and Wales Number Families with one dependent child 2,560,060 Families with two dependent children 2,677,460 Families with three dependent children 852,720 Families with four or more dependent children 283,830 Source: Table 23 Census 1981 Household and Family Composition
1971 Census England and Wales Number Families with one dependent child 2,513,080 Families with two dependent children 2,328,370 Families with three dependent children 983,210 Families with four dependent children 356,500 Families with five or more dependent children 184,270 Source: Table 35 Census 1971 Household Composition Tables Part III