23% dependent children living in lone parent family in 2001
Percentages of children aged under 20 years
In 2001 there were 14.8 million children aged under 20 years in the UK. Although there was little change in the proportion of the population aged under 20 years, there were relatively fewer under five year olds and 15 to 19 year olds in 2001 compared with 1990. Census 2001 showed that for the first time there was a lower proportion of children aged under 16 years than people aged 60 years and over.
The total minority ethnic population of under 20 year olds in Great Britain increased from 1,263,000 in 1992 (nine per cent of total population in this age group) to 1,480,000 (10 per cent of population in this age group) in 2000. There was an overall growth in the proportion of children in minority ethnic groups between 1992 and 2000, mainly an increase among Black-African, Black Mixed and Bangladeshi ethnic groups.
More children were born to older mothers at the end of the 1990s than at the beginning. This was particularly noticeable for those aged 35 and over. Fertility rates of mothers aged 30 years and over also increased during this period.
In 1990, 12 per 1,000 maternities within marriage were multiple births but by 2001 this increased to 17 per 1,000. The incidence of multiple births has increased in recent years for mothers in all age groups, but the increase was most evident among mothers aged 40 years and over. Reasons for this increase may include a rise in the number of first births and increased use of infertility treatments.
Percentages of all dependent children by family type
An increasing proportion of children are born outside of marriage, largely to cohabiting couples and mothers not in a relationship when they have the baby. In the UK, 40 per cent of live births were born outside marriage in 2001, compared to 12 per cent in 1980 and six per cent in 1960.
In Great Britain, there has been an increase in the proportion of dependent children living in lone parent families with 23 per cent of dependent children living in a lone parent family in 2001 compared with 18 per cent in 1991. Couple families were relatively most frequent among Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi headed households.
Sources: Population Estimates Unit, Office for National Statistics Census 2001 Labour Force Survey 1992-1994 and 1998-2000, Office for National Statistics ONS (2001) Birth Statistics, Series FM1 29, The Stationery Office: London ONS (2002) Birth Statistics, Series FM1 30 (Revised), The Stationery Office: London Kiernan K and Smith K (2003) Unmarried parenthood: new insights from the Millennium Cohort Study, Population Trends 114, pp 26-33 Living in Britain: Results from the 2000/2001General Household Survey, Office for National Statistics ONS (2001) Chapter 2: Households and Families, Social Trends 31, The Stationery Office: London
Note: Lone parent family is defined as one parent(irrespective of sex) living with his or her never married dependent children, providing these children have no children of their own.