Tackling child poverty: second year progress report - annex C

Annex C: child poverty among lone parent families.


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.[1]

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.[2] Single parenthood lasts around 5 years on average[3], with women facing slightly longer periods of single parenthood than men.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] This intersectionality of characteristics has the potential to compound and exacerbate disadvantage for certain lone parent households.


Email: sjsu@gov.scot

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