Just seven per cent of babies in Harborough born to single parents

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Just 7% of Harborough babies are born to single parents, according to new figures.

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 40 babies were registered by just one parent.

A further 18 had two parents living at different homes.

That’s a total of 58 children being raised by single parents in 2017 – 7% of the births in Harborough.

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 Harborough, it was 60%.

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 260 Harborough babies born to couples who were living together but not married - 32% of the total.

When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership, it means that 93% of babies in Harborough were born to a family with two parents at home.

In 2017, there were 804 births, 451 boys and 353 girls.

In 21 cases, mothers in Harborough went into labour at home.