Lone Parent families

Lone parents families makeup 25% of families across Scotland, and 92% of lone parent families are headed by women.

Child poverty rates in lone parent households, ScotlandCP lone parent HHs trend1

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The rate of relative poverty for lone parent families was around 60% between 1994-97 and 1998-2001. It had dropped down to 31% by 2011-14, but has risen since then. In 2019-22, 38% of children in lone parent families were living in relative poverty, compared with 20% of children not in lone parent families. The rate has remained at this level since 2014-17. The overall trend over this time period was similar for non-lone parent families, but with much less difference between the highest (24%) and lowest (17%) figures.

Lone parent households as a proportion of households with children, selected Local Authorities

Lone parents Scot GCR Scot citiesclick on chart to expand

A quarter of families with children in Glasgow were lone parent families in 2019. This is higher than the Scottish average of 19%. It is also higher than in most of the local authorities within Glasgow City Region - where rates very from 10% in East Dunbartonshire to 28% in West Dunbartonshire. Looking at the Scottish cities, only Aberdeen has a lower rate than Glasgow, with 18% of families being lone parent families. Around 27% of families in both Dundee and Edinburgh are lone parent families. 


These data come from Scottish Government statistics. This page was updated in April 2023 and it will be updated again when figures are next released.