One-third of children in developed countries born outside marriage

A new report on ‘the future of families’ has pointed to an increase in single parent homes in developed (OECD) countries, even as one third of the children are being born outside marriage even now.

All the countries, including Korea, Australia and England, will see the highest increases in one-person families except Germany by 2030, the report by Dublin-based Research and Markets said.

“Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States are the countries expecting the lowest increases in sole-parent families (8-10%),” it said.

It pointed out that marriage rates fell from over 8 marriages per 1 000 people in 1970 to 5 in 2009, and the average divorce rate doubled to 2.4 divorces per 1 000 people.

The number of children born outside marriage tripled, from 11% in 1980 to almost 33% in 2007 in OECD countries, the report said.

Not surprisingly, the average household size in OECD member countries fell from 2.8 persons in the mid-1980s to 2.6 in the mid-2000s.

“The risk of poverty is higher among cohabiting couples than among married couples; divorce and separation are linked to movements into poverty, especially for women;

“single-parent families with a working adult generally have higher poverty rates than two-parent households in which only one parent is in employment; young people living with their parents face a substantially lower poverty risk; and children in single-parent families face an elevated risk of poverty,” it noted.