The population of the Netherlands includes 3.5 million underage children. One in seven of these children live with just one parent. This proportion varies strongly between municipalities.
Increasing share of children live in one-parent families
In 2013, just over 14 percent of underage children living at home were growing up in a single-parent family, most of them with their mothers. The share of children growing up in a single-parent family has risen in the last ten years, from 12 percent in 2003. Most single-parent families are the result of parents divorcing or separating; every year, the parents of nine in every thousand underage children in the Netherlands divorce or separate.
Relatively more single-parent families in large cities
The largest shares of children in single-parent families are reported in the large cities. In 2013, for example, 27 percent of children younger than 18 in Amsterdam live with one parent; in Rotterdam this is 28 percent. At nearly 24 percent the share was also large in Heerlen and Capelle aan de IJssel. Staphorst and Urk, on the other hand, have the smallest share: less than 4 percent of children in these municipalities live in a one-parent family.
Share of 0-17-year-olds living at home who live in a one-parent family, 2013
Around one-third of residents in Urk and Staphorst younger than 18
In 2013, one in five of the Dutch population were younger than 18 years, a total of 3.5 million people. In the municipalities Urk and Staphorst, in particular, the share of underage children in the population is much higher, at 36 and nearly 30 percent respectively. This high percentage of young people is partly the result of a large birth surplus and the outflow of young adults (18 years and older) to other municipalities to study or work.
Many municipalities in Zuid-Limburg, Zeeland and Oost-Groningen have small shares of young people (19 percent or less). This is partly caused by low birth rates, but also by young people leaving these regions.
Share of 0-17-year-olds in total population per municipality, 1 January 2013
Marjolein Korvorst, Joop Garssen and Carel Harmsen