For statistical purposes, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines “a family as two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (regular or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household” (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014).
In Australia, at the 2016 Census, there were 959,000 single-parent families with children recorded. A total of 10.4% of all households had a single parent family as the only, or primary family in the household. This was down slightly from 10.6% in 2011, due to an increase in other categories. Nevertheless the total number of single-parent families increased by more than 50,000 over 5 years.
In this "Maggie Moment", Australian parenting author, educator and resilience specialist Maggie Dent talks about the challenges of sole parenting and guides parents to look to their community to find support in places they may least expect it.
Edited section of Four Corners report about a single parent living on Newstart.
Insight looks at why more single women and men are opting to become parents without partners, and what the long term effects are on children.
Compared with other family types, one-parent families are considered to be at a higher risk of disadvantage, for example, in income, housing, employment and social participation. Over the last few decades, one-parent families increased as a proportion of all families with children. Consequently, a greater number of children spend at least some of their childhood with a lone parent; and many women and some men experience sole parenting, often in difficult financial circumstances.