Nearly half a million single parents in the Netherlands

05/09/2008 15:00

As more married and unmarried couples with children decide to split up, the number of single parents in the Netherlands continues to grow.

Increasing number of one-parent families

On 1 January 2008, there were 466 thousand single parents in the Netherlands. Since 1995, the number of one-parent families has increased by 30 percent. Statistics Netherlands anticipates the number of single parents to reach 494 thousand in 2016.  Subsequently, a gradual decrease will occur. The number of two-parent families will drop by 40 thousand over the same period.

Single parents

Single parents

Splitting up

The increase in single parents is predominantly caused by the fact that more married and unmarried couples decide to split up. The proportion of never-married and divorced single parents is significantly higher in 2008 than in 1995. This applies to single fathers and mothers. In one-parent families, approximately half of fathers and mothers are divorced in 2008. 

Single parents by marital status

Single parents by marital status

Children usually stay with the mother

After a couple decides to divorce or split up, the children usually stay with the mother. Altogether, 356 thousand children live with a divorced parent; 15 percent are living with the father, 85 percent with the mother.

Half of single mothers and three quarters of single fathers have only one child to look after.

Single parents by number of children

Single parents by number of children

Divorced men more keen to start new relationship

Divorced men more often have or would like to have a new relationship than divorced woman. The reason is that most children stay with their mother after a divorce. The presence of children at home will reduce the chance of finding a new partner.

Arie de Graaf