Survey Uncovers Rise in Diversity of British Family Life

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22nd June 2012 12:00 - Public Consultation

A survey conducted by parenting website Netmums has revealed the changing face of the family structure in Britain.

Overall, the traditional nuclear family model is on the wane. Less than two thirds of British household at 61% now consist of a married couple living with their own children – this figure represents a decline from 77.6% in the previous generation and 89.3% in the times of our grandparents.

The market research, which surveyed 2,600 parents, also discovered that there are now 35 different types of family in Britain, representing a diversity increase of a quarter from a generation ago.

A total of 20.5% of households now consist of an unmarried couple living together, while just under 1% of families are currently headed by gay, bi-sexual or transgender parents.

This stands in marked contrast to family life two generations ago, when only 1.5% of homes had unmarried parents living together and a mere 1,275% was headed by gay or bisexual parents.

Despite the decline of the nuclear family however, this model continues to be the most common, with four in five UK children still living with their natural parents.

Siobhan Freegard, Netmums founder, commented: “The number of family set-ups in the UK is amazing and it looks likely it will continue to rise as people become more accepting of different ways of parenting. Many people may be surprised the nuclear family is still the bedrock of family life, but what’s clear is it isn’t necessarily the type of family you grow up in that matters, but whether you have the love, support, warmth and security of people who love you in that family.”

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