Published On: Tue, May 24th, 2016

The Rise Of Unmarried Parenting



In countries around the world, increasing numbers of parents are having children without getting married. OECD research has shown that in the United States, 2.9 percent of children lived with unmarried parents in 2005, a rate that increased slightly to 4.2 percent in 2014. Out of all countries included in the research, Estonia has the highest rate of children living with cohabiting parents, just under 31 percent, up from 18 percent in 2005. One of the most interesting trends is the rise of cohabiting parents in countries where religion and family life were or still are strongly intertwined.

Poland stands out in particular with its rate of children living with unmarried parents rising sharply from just 2.5 percent over a decade ago to 15 percent today. Ireland is another notable example, experiencing an increase of nearly seven percentage points during the same timeframe. Some countries also saw a decline in the percentage of children living with unmarried parents. In 2005, 11.8 percent of Danish kids lived in households where their parents were not married and this fell to 9.7 percent by 2014. Greece also saw a fall from 0.8 to 0.6 percent between 2005 and 2014.


Statistics and facts on Families in the U.S.

The typical American family consists of 3 people on average, a figure that has been more or less consistent over the years. At the same time, the number of family households with children younger than 18 years has decreased: while children lived in more than half of American family households in the seventies, this amount has decreased to 43.3 percent in 2013, reflecting the steady decline of the birth rate in the United States.

The traditional composition of the family seems no longer prevalent, a theory supported by the rising number of children living with a single parent, and the divorce rate in the United States. Interestingly enough, the number of married couples in the United States has been slightly increasing over the last fifty years.

As for family values, the younger generations seem to welcome the abandonment of traditional roles of husbands and wives, however, the increase of working mothers with young children is not considered to be a good thing – it remains unclear if this is due to traditional gender roles, since the increasing number of unmarried parents is widely accepted nowadays.


Infographic: The Rise Of Unmarried Parenting | Statista

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