In 2019, it was estimated that 25% (144,000) of all families with dependent children in Scotland were lone parent families, with 133,000 (92%) of these estimated to be headed by women.
The Growing Up in Scotland longitudinal study found that 9% of children were born into a single parent household, and a further 11% experienced parental separation in the first five years of their lives. Single parenthood lasts around 5 years on average, with women facing slightly longer periods of single parenthood than men. The average age of a single parent is 39 years. Around eight out of ten single parents are aged between 25 and 50 years old, and just 1% are teenagers.
There is substantial overlap between lone parent families and the other child poverty priority groups. For example, 40% of children in lone parent households also have a disabled person in the household, and only 39% of children in lone parent households (and 32% of children in poverty in lone parent households) do not fall into any of the other child poverty priority groups. This intersectionality of characteristics has the potential to compound and exacerbate disadvantage for certain lone parent households.