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Half of all children in lone-parent families are in relative poverty

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Half of all children in lone-parent families are now living in relative poverty, according to exclusive research that shows how a decade of austerity-driven cuts to benefits has left single parents among the most exposed to soaring inflation.In the first of a series of reports from the frontline of the cost of living crisis, the Guardian reports today on the impact of cuts to state support by successive Conservative governments, which have left women raising their children alone in a much weaker position to cope with the shocks of the pandemic and rising prices of basics such as food and heating.The vast majority of the 1.8 million lone-parent families in Britain – almost nine out of 10 – are headed by women.Together, they are raising 3.1 million children – more than a fifth of all children.About a quarter of all families with children in Britain are headed by single parents.

After increases between the 1970s and the 1990s, that figure has remained largely the same since 2001. The proportion of single parents who are fathers has stayed at about 10% for over 10 years.There are about 1.8m lone-parent families with dependent children (aged under 16, or aged 16-18 in full-time education),and together they are raising 3.1 million children.

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