Single-parent families on the up and at risk in Spain

THE number of single-parent families in Spain has increased by 47,000 over the last year and reached 1.75 million, a new report from the National Statistics Institute (INE) has revealed.

Meanwhile the number of families consisting of a couple and their children fell by 29,100 but still makes up the majority with 6.3 million, the report found.

This reflects the changes Spanish society is undergoing, with more and more single-parent families, people living alone, couples without children and unmarried couples registered.

At the same time the numbers of families consisting of married couples with children, heterosexual couples and unmarried couples are falling.

According to the last data from the INE for 2014, most single-parent families consist of a woman and her children (1.45 million of the total 1.74 million), while in just 304,000 cases it is the father that lives with his children.

In spite of this difference, the number of homes containing a mother and children has risen by 2.7 per cent in one year, while that of fathers and children rose by 3.2 per cent.

The INE data showed that 41.8 per cent of mothers living with their children were widows and 37 per cent were separated or divorced.

Save the Children has stressed that the majority of single-parent families are led by a woman and criticised the lack of help and risk of poverty they face.

According to the organisation, 38 per cent of single-parent families live under the poverty threshold and are unable to gain access to grants as the conditions for these are often hard to meet.

For example, last February Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy announced a new €1,200 per year grant for single-parent families with two or more children, leaving those with just one child out.

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