One in six babies in Wakefield born to single parents

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One in six Wakefield babies are born to single parents, new data reveals.

Single parent charity Gingerbread said lone parents still face some stigma, but that recent reports debunk the idea that having only one parent can negatively impact children.

Office for National Statistics figures show that 456 babies were registered by just one parent.

A further 230 had two parents living at different homes.

That’s a total of 686 children being raised by single parents in 2017 – 17 per cent of the births in Wakefield.

Across England, 52 per cent of babies were registered by parents who were married or in a same-sex civil partnerships, in line with the average for the UK.

In Wakefield, it was just 40 per cent.

Rosie Ferguson, chief executive of Gingerbread, said single parents’ aspirations for their children may be thwarted by circumstances out of their control.

She said: “The majority of single parents work, but many are still locked out of the secure, flexible employment opportunities they need in order to provide for their children.

“Low-paid and insecure jobs, as well as the lack of affordable childcare, mean that some single parents struggle to put food on the table for their children.

“The government must work with Jobcentres, employers and childcare providers to ensure that work genuinely provides a route out of poverty.

“We need to strengthen the system of support for single parents to provide a decent standard of living for them and their children.”

There were 1,746 babies born to couples who were living together but not married - 43 per cent of the total.

When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership, it means that 83 per cent of babies in Wakefield were born to a family with two parents at home.

In 2017, there were 4,026 births, 2,049 boys and 1,977 girls.

In 63 cases, mothers in Wakefield went into labour at home.