The 2011 Census revealed that Warwickshire has approximately 14,000 lone parent households with dependent children. This means that around 6.1% of households in Warwickshire are lone parents with dependent children, a figure slightly below the national average of 7.2%. Rates of lone parenting varying slightly around the county with lowest levels recorded in Stratford-on-Avon District (4.9%) and the highest in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough (7.5%)
At the time of the 2011 Census just over 9 in every 10 lone parent households are headed by a woman. Men are lone parents in around 1,500 households in Warwickshire.
The majority (67%) of lone parents are in employment in Warwickshire either part or full-time. This means that around 1 in 3 lone parents are not in employment. Male lone parents were more likely to be in employment and work full-time. However, the data suggests that male lone parents are more likely to be lone parents of older children than women; 57% of male lone parents (compared with 43% of women) have a youngest child aged ten or over and therefore issues relating to childcare may be less prevalent.
Lone parents and number and age of children
Lone parent families tend to have fewer children when compared to all households with dependent children as the table below indicates.
In addition, the children of lone parents tend to be slightly older than in households generally with dependent children. In 45% of lone parent households the youngest child is aged 10 or over compared with 39% of all households with dependent children.
More private renting of homes among lone parent households
Differences in tenure arrangements between lone parent households and those where there are couples with dependent children are highlighted in the table below along with a comparison with all household types.
Lone parent households are much less likely to own their home with a mortgage compared with households where there are couples with dependent children; 30% of lone parents households own their home with a mortgage compared with 67% of households where there are couples with dependent children. Conversely, lone parents are more likely to be renting their homes either socially or privately when compared with couple households with dependent children. Three out of every five lone parent households rent their home.
Lone parent households less likely to have access to a car/van
Compared with couple households with dependent children, lone parent households are more likely to be without access to a car. Some 30% of lone parent households report being without access to a car. This compares with just 14% of couple households with dependent children.
The above highlights some of the likely characteristics of lone parent households in Warwickshire and how they may differ from other types of household. In particular, higher levels of private renting among lone parent households and lower levels of car access means that that some lone parent households may be more vulnerable to the vagaries of the private rented market and that access to services requiring a car is more likely to be an issue.
For further information on the 2011 Census or to suggest further topics for analysis please contact Warwickshire Observatory at firstname.lastname@example.org