11.7 million dependent children in England and Wales
While the proportion in the population of England and Wales is reducing, Census 2001 reveals that dependent children still make up a substantial number of people - 11.7 million. To put this in scale, it is a greater number than the total population size of many European countries including Sweden, Belgium, Greece and Portugal.
Nearly one in four (22.9 per cent or 2,672,000 dependent children) live in lone-parent families - 91.2 per cent of which are headed by the mother. Overall, almost a third of households contain dependent children and one in nine have children under five.
More than one in ten dependent children live in a step-family (1,284,000). The majority, though, live with both natural parents (65.0 per cent). Approximately 149,000 children under 18 provide unpaid care within their family.
In addition to the total of dependent children, over 45,000 children under 16 live in communal establishments.
Many children live in 'workless' households with over two million (17.6 per cent) in households where there are no adults in work. In Muslim households this is even higher with more than a third of children living in households where no adult has work.
Muslim children also experience much more overcrowding (more than two in five - 41.7 per cent - compared with an average of 12.3 per cent) and one in eight live in a household with no central heating compared with the average of 5.9 per cent - one in 16.
High-rise accommodation may not be suitable for families with very young children, but over 58,000 children under two live in homes two or more storeys above ground level, and over 11,000 on the fifth floor or above.
Among dependent children there are over 230,000 more boys than girls but for people in their twenties there are over 81,300 more women than men.