Almost half the black children in Britain are being raised by single parents, new Government figures reveal.
A quarter of all youngsters live in one-parent familiestreble the proportion in 1972, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The biggest percentage of lone-parent households is among black ethnic groups. Forty-eight per cent of black Caribbean families have one parent, as do 36 per cent of black African households.
Single-parent families are less common among Indians (ten per cent), Bangladeshis (12 per cent), Pakistanis (13 per cent), Chinese (15 per cent) and whites (22 per cent).
Nine out of ten single-parent families are headed by mothers.
Children who grow up without their biological father are more likely to be unemployed, commit crime and leave education early, according to research by think tank Civitas.
They are also twice as likely to be homeless.
Lone-parent families are three times more likely to live in rented accommodation than couples with children and are also more likely to live in homes that fall below minimum standards.
Michael Scanlan, from the Family and Parenting Institute, said lone-parent families were ‘disproportionately’ likely to feel the effects of poverty compared with couples.
He added: ‘Having just one income is likely to affect the child.
‘It is also likely the parent is going to have to work longer hours so it minimises important contact between parent and child.
‘We need to ensure single parents get access to affordable and high-quality child care.’