Married couple families are still the most common family type in the UK
In 2011 there were 17.9 million families in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics. Of these 12.1 million consisted of a married couple (including civil partnerships) with or without children.
The most common family type in the UK in both 2001 and 2011 was a married or civil partner family without dependent children (civil partnerships came into existence in December 2005).
There were 7.6 million such families in 2011, an increase of over 100,000 since 2001. The next most common family type was a married or civil partner family with dependent children, of which there were 4.5 million such families in 2011.
This was the only family type to observe a decrease since 2001. So, despite an increase in cohabiting couple families and lone parent families over the last decade, married couple families are still the most common family type in the UK.
The number of opposite sex cohabiting couple families increased significantly, from 2.1 million in 2001 to 2.9 million in 2011. The number of dependent children living in opposite sex cohabiting couple families increased significantly, from 1.3 million to 1.8 million over the same period. In 2011, 38 per cent of cohabiting couple families had dependent children, the same percentage as married couple families.
There were 2.0 million lone parents with dependent children in the UK in 2011, a figure which has grown steadily but significantly from 1.7 million in 2001.
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