South Tyneside has one of the highest rates in the country of babies born to single parents
One in four South Tyneside babies are born to single parents, one of the highest rates in the UK.
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 323 babies were registered by just one parent.
A further 114 had two parents living at different homes.
That’s a total of 437 children being raised by single parents in 2017 – 28% of the births in South Tyneside.
Across England, 52% 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 South Tyneside, it was just 34%.
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 599 babies born to couples who were living together but not married – 38% of the total.
When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership, it means that 72% of babies in South Tyneside were born to a family with two parents at home.
In 2017, there were 1,568 births, 834 boys and 734 girls.
In 21 cases, mothers in South Tyneside went into labour at home.