Press Release | One-Parent families now five times more likely than two-parent households to live in consistent poverty according to new Survey on Income and Living Conditions

One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – reacted with alarm at the latest figures from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC). The report shows that one-parent families are now five times as likely  to live in consistent poverty than two-parent households; this is an increase in the ratio from 2016 when the gap was four times as likely to live in consistent poverty. The report also shows that lone parents have the lowest disposable income and highest deprivation and at risk of poverty rates of all households with children in the State.

In 2017, individuals living in households where there was one adult with children aged under 18 continue to have the highest consistent poverty rate at 20.7% which is a decrease of 2.5% from 2016.This is compared to a consistent poverty rate of 3.9% for two-parent households. This means that lone parents are five times as likely to be living in consistent poverty compared to two-parent households.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “SILC results reflect and amplify what we keep saying. People parenting alone tell us through our askonefamily helpline and our mentoring, counselling, education and other support services, that they live in constant fear on the knife edge of poverty. While there were a number of welcome measures in Budget 2019 this unacceptably high poverty and deprivation rates for one-parent families continues. There are real families behind these figures and lone parents and their children are tired of waiting.”

Valerie Maher, One Family Policy & Programmes Manager, comments: “Lone parents are still struggling to meet the costs of living for themselves and their children. This includes the basics such as housing, food, heating and clothes. This is unacceptable and should not be normalised. More needs to be done to ensure that the government commitment to lift 95,000 children out of consistent poverty remains at the top of the political agenda. Increased access to education, affordable and accessible childcare and long-term housing solutions are needed now to reverse these unacceptable trends.”

One in four families in Ireland is a one-parent family. Research shows that a key contributor to children’s futures is not the structure of their families but living in consistent poverty.


About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish. It is Ireland’s organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting, or separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services.

These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 662212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day every May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today (

SILC 2017 results can be viewed here.

One Family’s pre-budget submission can be read here.

For further information, visit