The traditional 2.4 family is a thing of the past, with eight out of 10 people now describing their family set-up as not traditional, or not conforming to the stereotypical two married parents with two or more children. The majority of people feel their family is unrepresented by politicians, the media and advertising with half claiming the government does not take their family set-up into account.
Research from the Centre for the Modern Family, a new think tank launched by Scottish Widows to improve the understanding of the challenges facing modern families, says that just 16 % define themselves as part of a traditional family of two married parents living together with two or more children. Instead, the findings indicate family structures are becoming increasingly diverse. A quarter of all couples are childless, and one in five lives alone.
As a result of this, half of the population believe society is out of date in its view of the family. In addition to married mums and dads with two or more children, people are increasingly likely to describe single parent, same-sex, or unmarried couples as proper families.
Professor Tanya Byron says, "Family is the spine of society. Everyone comes from a family, everyone has an opinion on family, and without this vital support network many of us would simply break. At a time of continued social change and as the financial squeeze on families gets even tighter, The Centre for the Modern Family aims to improve understanding, and ultimately strengthen families - in all their varied forms - across the country."