One in five babies in Leeds born to single parents

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One in five Leeds 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 1,339 babies were registered by just one parent.

A further 570 had two parents living at different homes.

That’s a total of 1,909 children being raised by single parents in 2017 – 19 per cent of the births in Leeds.

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 Leeds, it was just 49 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 3,146 babies born to couples who were living together but not married - 32 per cent of the total.

When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership, it means that 81 per cent of babies in Leeds were born to a family with two parents at home.

In 2017, there were 9,967 births, 5,130 boys and 4,837 girls.

In 203 cases, mothers in Leeds went into labour at home.