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21 February 2013

“Hong Kong 2011 Population Census Thematic Report :
Single Parents” published

According to the results of the 2011 Population Census, there were a total of 81 705 single parents in 2011. The number of single parents increased continuously over the past 10 years, from 61 431 in 2001 to 81 705 in 2011.

Single parents are defined as mothers or fathers who are never married, widowed, divorced or separated, with child(ren) aged under 18 living with them in the same household. It should be noted that the definition of single parents has been slightly revised by expanding the coverage to include mothers or fathers who are never married and living with child(ren) aged under 18 in the same household. There were 2 971 and 4 861 single parents who were never married in 2001 and 2011 respectively.

Single mothers far outnumbered single fathers throughout the past 10 years. The number of single mothers grew by 35.6% from 47 215 in 2001 to 64 040 in 2011, whereas the number of single fathers increased by 24.3% from 14 216 in 2001 to 17 665 in 2011. On the whole, majority of single parents were aged 30-49, with the proportion of single mothers in this age group at 82.2% and that of single fathers at 59.5%. In 2011, the median age of single fathers was 47.4, compared with 42.5 of single mothers.

In 2011, there were 47 717 working single parents, consisting of 12 407 working single fathers and 35 310 working single mothers. A large proportion of the working single parents were engaged as “Service and sales workers” (26.7%), “Elementary occupations” (19.7%) or “Clerical support workers” (17.3%).

Nearly 80% of single parents were living with their child(ren) only in 2011. Most of the single parents lived with 1 dependent child and the average number of dependent children for a single parent was 1.3. Besides, 52.4% and 37.8% of the single parents lived in public rental housing and private permanent housing respectively.

Further details about the characteristics of single parents are available in the publication entitled “Hong Kong 2011 Population Census Thematic Report : Single Parents” which has been published today (February 21). Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (


Last revision date: 21 February 2013