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Benefit Statistics

Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table showing for 1971, 1981 and the latest date for which estimates are available the number of households in the United Kingdom, with the figures broken down to distinguish between no family, one family and two or more family households, as in Social Trends No. 15 table 2·5 for Great Britain, but also showing whether the married couples and lone parents have one, two, three or more dependent children, with the latter defined as children aged under 16 years or 16 to 18 years in full-time education.

Information on the number of dependent children in families is only readily available for Great Britain in 1981 and 1983 as follows.I shall let my hon. Friend have further information as soon as it is available.Following is the information:


1981 census

Numbers (thousands)


1983 general household survey† Percentages

One family households

Married couple only4,9892627
Married couple with one dependent child2,2511211
Married couple with two dependent children2,6001313
Married couple with three or more dependent children1,10066
Married couple with non-dependent child(ren) only1,58688
Lone parent with one dependent child47122
Lone parent with two dependent children30222
Lone parent with three or more dependent children14311
Lone parent with non-dependent child(ren) only72044
Two or more family households17011
No family households5,1262626
Total households19,493100


* Households may contain other persons in addition to a family. A family is defined as a married couple with or without dependent children or a lone parent with children. Dependent children are those aged under 16 or 16–18 and in full-time education.

† The relatively small sample size of the General Household Survey—in 1983 it covered 10,000 households—means that results cannot be up-rated to give reliable estimates of actual numbers comparable in detail to those given by the Census.
Percentages may not total 100 because of rounding.