Nine Family Trends

To keep you up-to-date, demographically-speaking, with all the latest family facts from the UK Office for National Statistics.

1: Families are increasing.

In 2021 there were 19 million families, a 6.5% increase since 2011.

2: Households are increasing too.

And at almost the same rate as families.

In 2021 there were 28 million households in the UK, a 6.3% increase since 2011.

3: Partnerships are also on the up.

Legal or civil partnerships can be registered by two non-related individuals who are unmarried and not already part of a legally-registered partnership. These partnerships are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Families formed by a couple in a legally registered partnership (a concept that combines both civil partnerships and marriages) increased by 3.7% between 2011 and 2021. There are currently 12.7 million such families.

4: And so is Cohabitation.

The number of cohabiting couple families (i.e. those living together “as husband and wife” but without a legal relationship) increased by 23% between 2011 and 2021. There are currently 3.6 million cohabiting couples in the UK.

5: The number of lone households is increasing.

Up by 8.3% in the past ten years.

6: And they are geographically diverse…

While the proportion of one-person households was 25.8% in London, in Scotland it was 36%.

7: Lone parent families are one of the few types neither increasing or decreasing.

There are around 3 million lone parent families in the UK, formed mainly as a result of one of the 4D’s (in no particular order: Death, Divorce, Desertion – one partner leaves the relationship, amicably or otherwise – and Disentanglement – one or both partners decide to part company). They represent 15.4% of all families, a figure that has remained broadly constant over the past 10 years.

8: And lone parent families are also geographically diverse.

Their proportions range from 13% are located in South East of England to 18% in the North East of England.

9: Non-dependent children living with their parents have increased.

3.6 million people or 28% of those in the 20 -34 age group, now live with their parents.

This has increased by 25% since 2011.

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