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The demographics of single parenting show a general increase worldwide in children living in single parent homes.[1] Single parenting has become an accepted norm in the United States and is an accepted trend found in multiple other countries. Debates concerning not only the single parents themselves, but also the children involved, support for the families in single parent households, and more have arisen. Although divorce is one of the main events that leads to single parenting, it may be that the majority of cases (in the US) are from pregnancy outside of wedlock.

These figure are for single parents.

Figure for proportion of all households which are headed by a single parentEdit


About 16% of children worldwide live in a single-parent household.[2] In 2006, 12.9 million families in the US were headed by a single parent, 80% of which were headed by a female.[3][4]

By ContinentEdit

Countries located in Asia and the Middle East are the least likely to have children raised in single parent households. On the other hand, the 3 areas of the world that are most likely to have non-marital childbearing are Latin America, South Africa, and Sweden. Along with this, the areas where there are an extremely high number of children living in single parent homes include Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania. It has also been shown that children living in areas of South Africa are the very most likely to live with a single parent.[5]

Overall, according to the New York Times how a single parent is defined is dependent on each individual country's culture. There are statistical graphs and charts to support previously mentioned concerns and topics. The following reference ensures statistics of other countries worldwide, rather than just the United States.[6]

By countryEdit


In 2003, 14% of all Australian households were single-parent families. Since 2001, 31% of babies born in Australia have been born to unmarried mothers.[7]




In the United Kingdom, about 1 out of 4 families with dependent children are single-parent families, 8 to 11 percent of which have a male single-parent.[8][9][10] UK poverty figures show that 52% of single parent families are below the Government-defined poverty line (after housing costs).[11]


Since the 1960s, there has been a marked increase in the number of children living with a single parent. The 1960 United States Census reported that 9% of children were dependent on a single parent, a number that has increased to 28% by the 2000 US Census. The spike was caused by an increase in unmarried pregnancies, which 36% of all births by unmarried women, and to the increasing prevalence of divorces among couples. In 2000, 11% of children were living with parents who had never been married, 15.6% of children lived with a divorced parent, and 1.2% lived with a parent who was widowed.[12][13] The results of the 2010 United States Census showed that 27% of children live with one parent, consistent with the emerging trend noted in 2000.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. Jayson, Sharon Out-of-wedlock births on the rise worldwide. USA Today. URL accessed on November 29, 2012.
  2. includeonly>Rampell, Catherine. "Single Parents, Around the World", 3/10/10. Retrieved on 11/9/11.
  3. (PDF)Current Population Survey, 2006 Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement, Washington: United States Bureau of the Census, 2006, 
  4. includeonly>Navarro, Mireya. "The Bachelor Life Includes a Family", September 5, 2008.
  5. "Global Children's Trends", The Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What Do Marriage & Fertility Have To Do With The Economy (An International Report from the Social Trends Institute), Social Trends Institute, pp. 32–35, ISBN 978-0-615-52047-6,, retrieved on 11/9/11 
  6. Rampell, Catherine Single Parents, Around The World. The New York Times. URL accessed on November 29, 2012.
  7. (07/08/2007)One Parent Families. Australian Social Trends, 2007 4102.0.
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named gingerbread
  9. Labour Market Statistics, Labour Market Review 2006 - archived, United Kingdom Office for National Statistics, 23 March 2006, 
  10. General Household Survey, 2005 Report, Office for National Statistics, 28 November 2006,  – see Table 3.6, Family type, and marital status of lone parents: 1971 to 2005.
  11. Households Below Average Income (HBAI), United Kingdom Department of Work and Pensions, 14 June 2012, 
  12. O'Hare, Bill (July 2001). The Rise — and Fall? — of Single-Parent Families. Population Today.
  13. Single Parent Success Foundation. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-being. URL accessed on 9 November 2011.
  14. United States Census Bureau (3 November 2011). More Young Adults are Living in Their Parents' Home, Census Bureau Reports. Press release. Retrieved on 11/9/11.

Further readingEdit

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