Families in the UK – Seven Interesting Statistics

What’s family life like in the UK today? Below is a statistical overview of family life in the UK – covering such things as households types, and marriage statistics.

1. There were 12.4 million married couple families in the UK in 2015, representing two thirds of all family-households 

changes to household structure UK 2005 to 2015

For all the talk of the decline in the nuclear family, the statistics suggest the traditional, married nuclear family is still the predominant family type.

However, of the 12.4 million married family households, only 4.7 million of them have dependent children, while 7.8 million of them are without dependent children. So if we’re taking about numbers of ‘classic nuclear family households – 4.7 million is only about 35% of the total number of family households (18.7 million)

Also, the statistics above only show family households, they don’t include single person households, which make up about 30% of all households in the UK today.

2. There were 27 million households in the UK in 2015  and one-family households accounted for just over half of them

Household types uk

3. In 2013 29% of all households in the UK were single person households


These are mostly people aged over 65 (who are mainly females). The number of people aged over 40 living alone is increasing, while the number of younger people living alone is actually decreasing, partly because….

4. The number of 16-34 year olds living with their parents has seen a recent rapid increase in recent years

Figure 6- Young adults aged 15 to 34 living with their parents, 1996 to 2015.png

In 1996 there were ‘just’ 5.8 million young people living with their parents. By 2015 this had increased to 6.7 million

5. The marriage rate has almost halved since the 1970s

In the early 1970s, there were over 400 000 weddings a year, but this steadily fell to under 250 000 in the 2000s. 2009-2012  saw a small increase in the marriage rate, but from 2013 marriage rates seem to be going back down again! The decline in the rate of marriage is three times more rapid than the corresponding decline in divorce over the same period…

6. In 2012 the mean age of marriage was 36.5 years for men and 34.0 years for women 

age of marriage

7. In 2015 Lone Parent Family Households were 8 times more likely to be workless than two-parent family households 


This goes a long way to explaining why lone parent families are more likely to suffer poverty compared to dual-parent households



Families and Households 2015 (Office for National Statistics)

Nine Facts about Marriage (Office for National Statistics)

Other (older) infographs…

marriage statitics





One response to “Families in the UK – Seven Interesting Statistics”

  1. […] Family and Household Statistics – seven interesting statistics about family life in the U.K. […]

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