After years of decline, the number of single parents dependent on income support has risen since 2008. The increase predominantly occurred among single parents with a non-western background.
Sustained increase one-parent families
The number of single-parent families with under age children has steadily grown to more than 320 thousand over the period 1999-2011. This is mainly due to the growing amount of divorces. More than 87 percent of single parents are women, as most children continue to live with their mothers after their parents divorced.
Single-parent families are more susceptible to economic downturns, because only one household member has an income. The longer the crisis on the labour market continues, the more they are at risk of becoming dependent on income support. At the end of 2011, 23 percent of all single parents were living on income support. The proportion is five times as high as in the entire population in the Netherlands.
Growing income support dependency since 2008
The percentage of single-parent families on income support declined gradually over the period 1999-2008, partly because the labour market participation rate improved. In spite of the higher participation rate, the number of single parents on income support has risen marginally from 22 percent in 2008 to 23 percent in 2011 since the economic crisis kicked in late 2008. With an increase from 39 percent in 2008 to 42 percent in 2011, the income support dependency rate rose most notably among single parents with a non-western background. At the end of 2011, 35 thousand income support benefits were granted to single-parent families with a non-western ethnic background.
Single parents and income support dependency
One in two Moroccan single-parent families receive income support
One in every two Moroccan single parent families received income support (5 thousand benefits at the end of 2011). The share of Moroccan single-parent families on income support has remained fairly stable since 2008. With 47 percent, the dependency rate is also high among single-parent families with a Turkish background. At the end of 2011, 27 and 37 percent respectively of single parent families from Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba received income support. The dependency rate has risen marginally in these groups since 2008. More than 15 percent of single-parent families in the native Dutch population received income support by the end of 2011.
Income support dependency single parents by ethnic background