Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shock Statistics: Family breakdown in Ireland joint highest in Europe

New Eurostat figures published recently week show that Ireland has the joint highest share of children living with one parent in the European Union  Eurostat statistics show that 23.2 % of young people in Ireland aged under 18 live in one parent families. This was equalled only by Latvia with 23.3 %.
Greece despite all it current woes has the lowest level of family breakdown at 4.8% while the  EU average is 13.6%.

These appalling statistics indicate that current government policies are detrimental to the family based on marriage and are in need of urgent review.  

The Irish Times reports;

The research, conducted in 2008, provides a unique snapshot into the differences in living arrangements between children across the 27 member states. It showed that fewer Irish children (67.8 per cent) live with married parents than the EU average of 73.8 per cent. Only 7.4 per cent of Irish children were found to live with cohabiting parents – which included biological parents as well as step/adoptive or foster parents – compared to an EU average of 11.5 per cent.
Living with married parents was most common for children in Greece (91.8 per cent) and Cyprus (89 per cent) and least common for children in Estonia (54 per cent) and Sweden (54.4 per cent). The figures showed that living with cohabiting parents was most common in Sweden (27.3 per cent) and least common in Cyprus (0.8 per cent) and Greece (2.1 per cent). The number of children living without parents in Ireland was 1.6 per cent, compared to an EU average of 1.2 per cent.
Emeritus professor in child development at Trinity College Dublin Sheila Greene commented on Ireland’s standing in the statistics: “Apart from demographic changes to the traditional family form driven by the legalisation of divorce and the increase in children born outside of wedlock, various policies around single-parent allowances and family supplements may be shaping these differences.
“As there is an insistence here that parents be on their own and not cohabit to qualify for certain allowances, this may affect actual living arrangements and, indeed, what people are willing to say about their circumstances.”
The study, which also assessed the living arrangements of people aged 65 and over, found significant differences between men and women. The most common arrangement for men was to live with their partner in a two-person household, while for women it was most common to live alone.
In 2008, 60 per cent of men of this age group lived with their partner only, 20 per cent lived alone and another 20 per cent lived in a household with other persons, such as children or relatives, with or without their partner.
The living arrangements of women aged 65 and over revealed a different picture: 41 per cent lived alone, 37 per cent lived with their partner only and 21 per cent lived with others, with or without their partner.
The specific figures for Ireland were broadly consistent with the EU average; they showed 53.8 per cent of men, aged 65 and over, lived with their partner only, 23.4 per cent lived alone and 22.9 per cent lived with others.
Nearly 39 per cent of Irish women in this category lived alone, 36.4 per cent with partner only and 24.8 per cent with others.