Facts & Figures

The families we work with and represent come in all shapes, sizes and forms – no two one-parent families are the same. Here are what the key facts and figures about one-parent families in Ireland show:

About One-Parent Families in Ireland

  • 1 in 8 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family (Census 2011)
  • 1 in 4 families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family (Census 2011)
  • Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland (Census 2011)
  • 13.5 per cent of one-parent families are headed by a father (Census 2011)
  • Almost 1 in 5 children (18.3%) live in a one-parent family (Census 2011)
  • There are over 215,000 one-parent families in Ireland today – 25.8 per cent of all families with children (Census 2011)
  • People in lone parent households continue to have the lowest disposable income out of all households in the state (EU-SILC 2014)
  • Those living in lone parent households continue to experience the highest rates of deprivation with almost 60% of individuals from these households experiencing one or more forms of deprivation (EU-SILC 2014).

About the One-Parent Family Payment

The most up to date information on the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) and Jobseeker’s Transition Payment (JST) since the recent OFP reforms (as of 30th September 2015):

  • 42,104 people are now receiving the One-Parent Family Payment. This has decreased from 92,326 in 2010, before the reforms were announced.
  • There are now 75,202 child dependents of One-Parent Family Payment recipients.
  • There are currently approximately 16,000 Jobseeker’s Transition recipients in total.
  • Of the approximately 25,500 customers who exited the OFP scheme on 2 July, 2015, the majority of customers transitioned to the Jobseeker’s Transitional payment, the Jobseeker’s Allowance payment and the Family Income Supplement. – 13,600 (or 54%) of them moved to the Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST); – 2,500 (or 10%) of them moved to the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) scheme, and – 8,100 (or 32%) of them moved to the Family Income Supplement (FIS) scheme.

-This includes 2,400 new FIS recipients which indicates that some affected customers entered or increased their employment as a result of the reforms.

Source: Dept. of Social Protection

 

Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2014 Results

  • The results of Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2014, released on the 26th of November, 2015, reveal that one-parent family households experience the most deprivation (inability to afford two from a list of 11 basic necessities)in Ireland.
  • 59% (almost three in five) of lone parent households with one or more children experienced enforced deprivation. This compares to 29.0% of the general population who experienced deprivation. Worryingly lone parent households were also at slightly greater risk of poverty than they had been in 2013.
  • In 2014, 11% of children aged 0-17, or 1 in 9 children, lived in consistent poverty. Consistent poverty means that these children are living in households with incomes below 60% of the national median income and experiencing deprivation based on the agreed 11 deprivation indicators. This can mean going 24 hours without a substantial meal or being cold because parents are unable to afford to heat the home.
  • Children living in one parent family households are almost twice as likely to live in poverty than other children- 23% of children in a one-parent family experience deprivation.
  • The groups that were already experiencing poverty before the financial crisis, including one-parent families, have been hit hardest.
  • Individuals living in households where there was one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest consistent poverty rate at 22.1%.
  • For those living in consistent poverty, the types of deprivation most commonly experienced were an inability to: replace worn out furniture (67.0%), afford a morning/afternoon/evening out (66.7%) and have family/friends over for a meal/drink (57.2%).
  • Over half of those living in consistent poverty reported going without heating at some stage in the last 12 months.
  • In 2014, if all social transfers were excluded from income, the ‘at risk of poverty’ rate would have been 49.3%. The corresponding figure for 2004 was 39.8% and peaked in 2011 at 50.7%. This increase between 2004 and 2014 showed an increased dependence of individuals on social transfers to remain above the ‘at risk of poverty’ threshold.Social transfers include income from State means-tested payments (e.g. Jobseekers Allowance, OFP) and State non-means-tested payments (e.g. Child Benefit, Jobseekers Benefit)

Full release from CSO here

 

The Distribution of Wealth in Ireland Today

A recent TASC report published in November 2015 details the facts that one-parent families are:

  • Less likely to own their own home and face significant barriers to owning property.
  • Have business assets at 1/5 of the average rate of people in Ireland.
  • Have savings of €300 on average, less than 10% of others.
  • Have double the rates of debt to assets and are credit constrained at three times the rate of average households.
  • The average household has a net worth seven times greater than the average for a single parent household.
  • The average net wealth for a single parent is €30,600 which compares to an average figure of €218,700 for all households. Half of all single parents have less than €1,400 in net wealth.

A full copy of the report is available here.

 

About One-Parent Families in Work

The Quarterly National Household Survey released on 23 September 2015revealed the most recent employment statistics for the period April- June 2015:

  • In Q2 2015, the employment rate of lone parents (aged 15-64) was 52.8%. This compares with 71.4% for the adult members of couples without children and 73.8% for the adult members of couples with children.
  • The employment rate of lone parents (aged 15-64) whose youngest child was aged 0 to 5 years was 42.0% in Q2 2015 compared to 49.7% where the youngest child was aged 6 to 11 and 63.2% where the youngest child was aged 12 to 17. This indicates that, as children get older, the prohibitive costs of childcare are reduced and lone parents are more likely to engage in work
  • The unemployment rate of lone parents was 14.7%, compared to an unemployment rate for all persons aged 15-74 of 9.8%
  • There were 9,600 lone parents classified as long-term unemployed in Q2 2015, compared to 45,800 adult members of couples with children classified as long-term unemployed in the same period.
  • On average, 52.4% of lone parents were participating in the labour market in Q2 2015. The participation rate of males in couples with children was 88.0% while the corresponding participation rate for females was 64.8%. This dispels the myth that lone parents are not engaging in, and seeking, work outside the home.

Source: CSO-QNHS available here

 

One-Parent Family Stats by County

Stats by County as taken from Census 2011

Carlow: There are 2,415 lone parent households in Carlow; 85% lone mothers, 15% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 12% of all households in Carlow.

Cavan: There are 2,753 lone parent households in Cavan; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Cavan.

Clare: There are 4,673 lone parent households in Clare; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families made up 11% of all households in Clare.

Cork: In 2011 the Census recorded 6,183 lone parent households in Cork City; 87% were lone mothers, with 13% lone fathers.

In 2011 the Census recorded 15,204 lone parent households in Cork County; 85% were lone mothers, with 15% lone fathers. One parent families made up 11% of all households in Cork.

Donegal: There are 7,462 lone parent households in Donegal; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families made up 13% of all households in Donegal.

Dublin: There are 59,521 lone parent households in Dublin; 88% lone mothers, 12% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 13% of all households in the Dublin area. There are 26,166 lone parent households in Dublin City; 88% lone mothers, 12% lone fathers. There are 7,758 lone parent households in Dun-Laoighaire / Rathdown; 87% lone mothers, 13% lone fathers. There are 11,806 lone parent households in Fingal; 88% lone mothers, 12% lone fathers. There are 13,791 lone parent households in South Dublin; 89% lone mothers, 11% lone fathers.

Galway: There are 3,175 lone parent households in Galway City; 89% lone mothers, 11% lone fathers. There are 6,159 lone parent households in Galway County; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Galway.

Kerry: There are 6,063 lone parent households in Kerry; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Kerry.

Kildare: There are 8,139 lone parent households in Kildare; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 12% of all households in Kildare.

Kilkenny: There are 3,782 lone parent households in Kilkenny; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Kilkenny. Laois: There are 3,315 lone parents in Laois; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 12% of all households in Laois.

Leitrim: There are 1,202 lone parent households in Leitrim; 85% lone mothers, 15% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 10% of all households in Leitrim.

Limerick: There are 3,440 lone parent households in Limerick City; 87% lone mothers, 13% lone fathers. There are 4,736 lone parent households in Limerick County; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 12% of all households in Limerick.

Longford: There are 1,857 lone parent households in Longford; 87% lone mothers, 13% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 13% of all households in Longford.

Louth: There are 6,023 lone parent households in Louth; 87% lone mothers, 13% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 14% of all households in Louth.

Mayo: There are 5,161 lone parent households in Mayo; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Mayo.

Meath: There are 6,624 lone parent households in Meath; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Meath.

Monaghan: There are 2,430 lone parent households in Monaghan; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Monaghan.

Offaly: There are 3,206 lone parent households in Offaly; 85% lone mothers, 15% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 12% of all households in Offaly.

Roscommon: There are 2,501 lone parent households in Roscommon; 85% lone mothers, 15% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Roscommon.

Sligo: There are 2,670 lone parent households in Sligo; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 11% of all households in Sligo.

Tipperary: There are 3,176 lone parent households in Tipperary NR; 78% lone mothers, 22% lone fathers. There are 4,084 lone parent households in Tipperary SR; 85% lone mothers, 15% lone fathers.

Waterford: There are 2,677 lone parent households in Waterford City; 89% lone mothers, 11% lone fathers. There are 2,743 lone parent households in Waterford County; 84% lone mothers, 16% lone fathers. There are a total of 5,420 lone parent households in Waterford; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 13% of all households in Waterford.

Westmeath: There are 3,645 lone parent households in Westmeath; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 12% of all households in Westmeath.

Wexford: There are 6,713 lone parent households in Wexford; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 13% of all households in Wexford.

Wicklow: There are 6,205 lone parent households in Wicklow; 86% lone mothers, 14% lone fathers. One-parent families make up 13% of all households in Wicklow.

 

*Lone parent household statistics taken from statistics on households classified in the 2011 Census as lone mother with children, lone father with children, lone mother with children and other persons, and lone father with children and other persons.