This post summaries some of the changing trends (and continuities) in family and household structure in the UK, using data from the Office for National Statistics which collects a range of data annually on families and households in the UK
The Office for National Statistics Families and Households Hub Page is an obviou starting point for exploring this issue . Some of the headline stats include the following:
- In 2015 there were 18.7 million families in the UK
- The most common family type in 2015 was the married or civil partner couple family with or without dependent children at 12.5 million
- The cohabiting couple family continues to be the fastest growing family type in the UK in 2015, reaching 3.2 million cohabiting couple families
- In 2015 around 40% of young adults aged 15 to 34 in the UK were living with their parents
- There were 27.0 million households in the UK in 2015, 35% of all households were two person households
- In 2015 there were 7.7 million people in UK households who were living alone
Changes to families and households 2005 – 2015
- Changes to Family Households
There has been a significant increase in the number of cohabiting couples, both with and without children, and a slight increase in lone parent households. The number of married couple households both with and without children has remained stable, which means that the overall picture is one of a slight trend towards increasing family diversity and away from marriage.
2. Marriage and Cohabitation Trends
The chart below clearly shows the slight decline in married households compared to cohabiting and single parent households, but there are still almost three times as many married households compared to cohabiting households!
3. Family Size
Family size appears to have remained pretty stable over the past 15 years
4. Households Size in the UK
We have quite a small average households size in the UK – with two and one person households making up around two thirds of all households.
5.Multi Family Households
Given that they’re starting from a small base, there has been a significant ten year increase in multi family households – households with two or more families in, an increase of one third in twenty years.
6. The increase in People Living Alone
There has been a slow and steady increase in the overall numbers of people living alone, but this varies a lot by age – generally the number of older people living alone has increased, the number of younger people living alone has decreased.