Britain has highest proportion of single parent families in Europe
Single-parent families are now so common that couples living with their children are the minority in some parts of the country.
Data shows there are seven Parliamentary constituencies where single-parent families make up the majority of households.
There are close to 2million single-parent families in the UK and we have the highest proportion of children brought up in one-parent families of any major European country.
Single parent families make up the majority in some of the country’s biggest cities, including London, Manchester and Birmingham
The seven areas where single-parent families are the majority are in the urban hearts of London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.
In one constituency, Lewisham Deptford, 58 per cent of households with children are headed by lone parents.
At the other end of the spectrum, in the rural district of South Northamptonshire just one in every 20 family units is headed by a single parent.
The figures, from a Freedom of Information request to the Office for National Statistics, were greeted with concern yesterday.
Jill Kirby, a social policy expert and former director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: ‘Children need input from both parents in order to thrive.
‘Research shows children growing up in fatherless homes are much less likely to do well at school and are at twice the risk of getting into problems with drink or drugs, or involved in crime. The UK welfare system has been partly to blame, by providing a substitute breadwinner rather than encouraging parents to stick together.’