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This paper examines the key characteristics of single parents through descriptive and comparative perspectives. Our analyses suggest that the experiences and needs of single-parent households differ according to the age of both the parent and child, and that the vast majority of such households are single-mother households. The analysis shows that younger mothers and mothers with young children are the least-employed parent groups, and that this is exacerbated for single mothers. This is relevant to policy considerations, as the age composition of single-parent households also differs from nation to nation.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Context

  • Chapter Two

    Key characteristics of households in Europe

  • Chapter Three

    Single parents and employment

  • Chapter Four

    Conclusions and policy implications

Research conducted by

This research was commissioned by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Fundamental Rights. The study was jointly undertaken by RAND Europe and the University of Groningen.

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