Rate of children in single-parent homes up nearly 50 percent since 1999

Some 16 percent of children in the Netherlands are growing up in a single-parent household, a substantial 48 percent rate increase compared to 20 years ago. Fewer than 11 percent of children lived with one parent back in 1999, and the rate steadily grew over time, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

"This situation can arise because, for example, parents have separated, a parent has died or the parents have never lived together," the statistics office said. Nearly nine-in-ten of the 538 thousand children are registered at the mother's address.

The rate of babies born to such households is also on the rise, having grown from six percent to nine percent in 20 years. That translates to roughly 15 thousand babies.

Back in 2016, the national statistics office said that a third of all single-parent households were heavily reliant on social benefits to make ends meet. A child is five-times more likely to grow up in poverty if living in a single-parent family, broadcaster NOS said citing 2018 data from the CBS.

Over a fourth of all minors in Amsterdam, Capelle aan den IJssel, Rotterdam, and Heerlen live in a single-parent home. The figure hits around 29 percent in the latter two municipalities.

In the towns of Staphorst and Urk, only about four percent of children live with one parent. "In general, the share of children in single-parent households is smaller in less urban areas," Statistics Netherlands said.