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New data shows little improvement in poverty among lone parents

Published: Thursday, November 28, 2019

NWCI  has called on Government to address the unacceptably high levels of poverty among lone parents in response to the publication of data by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (28.11.19) showing that 33.5 per cent of lone parents are at risk of poverty.

New data from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) released today shows that lone parents continue to be among the sectors of society most at risk of poverty. In 2018,

  • 33.5 per cent of families headed by a lone parent and with one or more children under 18 were at risk of poverty (compared to 9.9 cent among two parent families)
  • 42.7 per cent experienced deprivation which means they can’t afford some of the essential goods and services that are considered the norm in society (compared to 14.3 per cent among two parent families)
  • 19.2 per cent experienced consistent poverty (compared to 5per cent among two parent families)

Commenting on the publication of the data, Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI stated,

“The figures released today, while shocking, are not new. We know that lone parents, who are overwhelmingly women, are consistently among the groups most at risk of poverty. Lone parents took the brunt of austerity era measures and it is unacceptable that they continue to experience poverty and deprivation in a period of economic growth”.  

Sandra McCullagh, Women’s Economic Equality Coordinator, said,

“We urgently need to address the structural issues that keep lone parents in poverty, including tackling low paid, precarious employment, ensuring access to secure and affordable housing and accommodation, and providing affordable, accessible, quality childcare.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104.

About NWCI

The National Women’s Council of Ireland’s (NWCI) mission is to lead and to be a catalyst in the achievement of equality for women. We are the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland. A non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1973, we seek to achieve equality for women.


The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) is an annual collection of information on the income and living conditions of different types of households in Ireland.  It provides information on poverty, deprivation and social exclusion and is published by the Central Statistics Office.