(Clue: you're not the only one)

Almost nothing can make you feel more lonely than becoming a single mother, especially if it’s not the way you planned on raising children. Still, even though you might feel like you’re the only one in this situation, especially if you don’t know anyone else close to you who is a single mother, you are very much not alone. But just how many other single mothers are there in the UK?

Naturally, the number of single mothers in the UK is an evolving statistic that reflects the changing dynamics of family life. More and more women are choosing to raise children alone, for various reasons, so it is a statistic that is likely to continue to rise as time goes on. As of 2022, there were over 2.94 million single parent families in the United Kingdom, with the majority being lone-mother families, accounting for 84% of the total. Single mothers form a substantial portion of the single parent demographic, though single parent families headed by dads are on the rise (shout out to the single dads!). The average age of a single mother is around 38 years, which is slightly younger than the average age of single fathers, who are around 45 years old. Additionally, contrary to many people’s beliefs and depictions of single mothers, less than one percent of single parents are teenagers (aged 16-19 years).

single mother with son
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

How many single mothers are there in Britain right now?

In 2022, there were over 2.94 million single parent families in the United Kingdom, with the majority being lone-mother families, accounting for 84% of the total. Source: statista.com 

What percentage of mothers in the UK are single?

Single parents make up nearly a quarter of families with dependent children in the UK, with around 90% of single parents being women. Source: gingerbread.org.uk 

Single Parents Need Support Not Shame

What percentage of mothers are single in the US?

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2020, about 23% of US children under 18 lived with a single mother, and 4% lived with a single father.

What’s the average age of a single mother in the UK?

The average age of a single mother in the UK is around 38 years.

How many single dads are there in the UK?

In 2022, there were an estimated 457,000 lone-father families in the UK, accounting for 16% of lone-parent families. Source: ons.gov.uk

Are you feeling less alone now? Finding other single parents in the same situation as you can be an absolute game changer. Especially if you can find one or two nearby to share nursery or school runs with, get together at the weekends for play dates or have a glass of wine on nights off with. I met a group of brilliant friends on the Frolo app and have since met a lot of local single mums by chatting about how much I love single life in the playground on the school run. When you feel more confident in your single parent status you will attract like minds and find your crew, and realise you were never alone, just home alone. 

Read next: The Best Things About Being a Single Mum

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