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Single-parent Families

The typical family type is that of two parents and their children, but there has been an increase in single-parent families. In the year 2000 nonmarital births accounted for 31.8 percent of all births (Vital Statistics 2000). These births were to women in their twenties and older, not to teenagers. (Teenage births are not a significant proportion of non-marital births in Ireland.) The average age of non-married mothers is twenty-five. Nonmarital births reflect a diversity of family forms that includes cohabiting couples, reconstituted families following marital separation that have not been legally regulated, and single-parent families.

It is not known to what extent these nonmarital births reflect a trend towards increased single-parent households or simply a prelude to marriage. In the year 2000 single-parent families represented 10 percent of all households, and the largest group of these consisted of widows and their children.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsIreland - Demographic Change, Family Change, Marriage, Single-parent Families, Children, Mothers And Employment