Changing household and family structures and complex living arrangements

Economic and Social Research Council
Publication year:
Place of publication:

Eight out of 10 people in Great Britain in 2004 lived in a traditional family household but this type of household in decline. Over the last forty years there have been changes in social norms and attitudes with respect to partnership and family formation. Such changes are likely to be of interest for a wide range of policy areas which impact on families, parents and children. These changes include a decline in marriage and an increase in the number of births occurring outside marriage which have given rise to more lone-parent families, most of whom are lone-mothers. This trend is also fuelled by the rise in divorce and cohabitation. From the perspective of the children, some are more likely to experience family disruption that would have been the case in the past. Repartnering, whether through marriage or cohabitation, also means that some children may live in different family types, including commuting between family households so they have to share their time between their natural parents. The policy implications to illustrate what statistics are needed to address these were discussed .

Subject terms:
marriage, mothers, single parent families, children, cohabitation, divorce;
Content type:
United Kingdom
Series name:
(ESRC Seminar Series; Mapping the public policy landscape)

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