Childbirth

Duchy of Lancaster written question – answered at on 16 July 2008.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of (a) the percentage of children living in one parent families, (b) the number of live births per thousand teenage women and (c) the percentage of children born outside marriage in the last 10 years for which figures are available, broken down by (i) social class, (ii) income, (iii) race and (iv) geographic location.

Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 16 July 2008:

As the National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your question about what estimates are available for (a) the percentage of children living in one parent families, (b) the number of live births per 1,000 teenage women and (c) the percentage of children born outside marriage in the last 10 years for which figures are available, broken down by (i) social class, (ii) income, (iii) race and (iv) geographic location. (216783)

Part (a)—One parent families

The percentage of dependent children living in lone parent families in the United Kingdom can be estimated using the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Table 1 (below) shows UK estimates. Estimates broken down by (i) social class, (ii) income, (iii) race and (iv) geographic location are not readily available to answer the question fully for all years and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Table 1: Dependent children in the UK
Proportion of dependent children living in lone parent families (percentage)
1998 22
1999 22
2000 22
2001 22
2002 23
2003 23
2004 23
2005 24
2006 24
2007 24
Source:

LFS quarterly data (average of Spring and Autumn seasonal quarters for all years except for 2006 and 2007 where data are for the calendar quarter April to June only).

There are two existing pieces of information that provide partial answers to part (a). For social class, data are available for 2001 only.

The proportion of dependent children in households in England and Wales by number of birth parents and the NS-SEC (National Statistics Socio-economic Classification) of the household reference person, according to the 2001 Census are available in the response to a recent parliamentary question by David Laws MP (Hansard 187143: 22 Feb 2008 : Column 1107W). For ethnicity, data are available for 2007 only. Estimates of the proportion of dependent children living in lone parent families in United Kingdom by ethnicity are available for 2007 using the LFS in the response to a parliamentary question by David Laws MP (Hansard 201194: 24th April 2008: Column 2204W).

The Family Resources Survey (FRS) contains information on both family type and income. This is available in the annual FRS report: Family Resources Survey 2006-07 (published by DWP [link below] see: Table 3.5: Households by composition and total weekly household income). Information is also available in the report: Households Below Average Income (HBAI) 1994/95-2006/07 (published by DWP [link below] see: Table 4.1 (BHC): Quintile distribution of income for children by various family and household characteristics, United Kingdom).

Family Resources Survey 2006-07

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/frs/2006_07/

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/frs/2006_07/chapter3.pdf

Households Below Average Income (HBAI) 1994/95-2006/07

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2007/contents.asp httD://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2007/pdf_files/full_hbai08.pdf

Part (b)—The number of live births per 1,000 teenage women

Figures on live births are available from birth registration. The latest year for which figures are available is 2006.

(i) social class

Since 2001, NS-SEC has been used to provide a socio-economic classification for all official statistics. The number of live births per 1,000 teenage women broken down by NS-SEC would require population estimates broken down by age, sex and NS-SEC. This information is not routinely available and for teenage women NS-SEC is likely to be unreliable. Consequently it is not possible to provide these figures.

(ii) and (iii) income and ethnicity

Information on income and ethnicity is not collected at birth registration hence it is not possible to provide the number of live births to teenage women broken down by these variables.

(iv) geographical location

Births are assigned to an area according to the usual residence of the mother, as stated at registration.

Table 2: Number of live births per 1,000 teenage women by unitary authority and local authority, England and Wales, 1997 to 2006

Part (c)—The percentage of children born outside marriage

The percentage of children born outside marriage is also derived using figures on live births available from birth registration.

(i) social class

The classification used for social class prior to 2001 is not directly comparable with NS-SEC. For this reason figures broken down by NS-SEC are only provided back to 2001. Information on mother's occupation and employment, from which NS-SEC is derived, is only coded for a sample of one in ten births. The figures provided broken down by NS-SEC are therefore estimates based on a ten per cent sample.

Table 3: Percentage of children born outside marriage for each National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) of the mother, England and Wales, 2001 to 2006

(ii) and (iii) income and ethnicity

For reasons stated in part (b) it is not possible to produce these figures broken down by income and ethnicity.

(iv) geographical location

The percentage of children born outside marriage by area of usual residence of mother is published annually in Key Population and Vital Statistics (KPVS), table 4.2. These figures have been collated in table 4, for the years 1998 to 2006. It is not possible to provide figures for 1997 because births data for 1997 were revised after the publication of the 1997 KPVS volume.

Table 4: Percentage of children born outside marriage by area, United Kingdom, 1998 to 2006

For more detail on data collated and the individual footnotes associated with each year please refer to the individual volumes available on the web at:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=539

Copies of the tables are available in the House of Commons Library.

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