According to official figures just released, family life is more popular than ever

The Office for National Statistics has released new figures which show that the number of families bringing up children has grown by 300,000 since the mid-90s; despite evidence that many people seem to be delaying having a family for financial or career reasons.

In the UK there are now 7.7 million households who have children growing up.

The size of families also seems to remain relatively unchanged, despite predictions that couples would have fewer children than their parents.

Although the traditional idea of a family with 2.4 children could well be consigned to the past, the number of children being brought up in families seems to have changed little in half a generation. The earliest date for comparable records is 1996 when the average number of dependent children in a family was 1.8 in each household. Last year this figure stood at 1.7 children.

“The number of one-child families is increasing, but that is partly because of women delaying having children and the changing make-up of families.

“For example, we know that cohabiting and lone parents are less stable than married-couple families, so some people may have one or two children, then break up.

“More people are going on to higher education, so that is delaying people settling down and getting married. Some people speculate that they are driven by a desire to set up home and afford a mortgage,” said Karen Gask who compiled the report for the Office of National Statistics.

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