"2016 Population By-census Thematic Report: Single Parents" published
Published date: 9 February 2018
According to the results of the 2016 Population By-census, there were a total of 73 428 single parents in Hong Kong in 2016. The number of single parents increased from 76 423 in 2006 to 81 705 in 2011 but then decreased to 73 428 in 2016.
Single parents are defined as mothers or fathers who are never married, widowed, divorced or separated, with a child or children aged under 18 living with them in the same household. In other words, if they are not living with a child or children aged under 18 in the same household, they are not counted as single parents and their children not counted as children of single parents.
Single mothers continued to far outnumber single fathers in 2016. There were 56 545 single mothers, more than three times the number of single fathers (16 883). Nevertheless, the number of both single mothers and single fathers declined in 2016, compared to 2011. The number of single mothers decreased by 7 495 (-11.7%), from 64 040 in 2011, while that of single fathers dropped by 782 (-4.4%), from 17 665 in 2011.
On the whole, the majority (74.7%) of single parents were aged 30-49, with the proportion of single mothers in this age group at 80.8% and that of single fathers at 54.0%. The median age of single fathers was 47.7, while that of single mothers was 42.4.
The educational attainment of the Hong Kong population continued to improve. Single parents were no exception. The level of educational attainment of single parents improved substantially over the past 10 years. The proportion of single parents with only primary and below education dropped from 23.6% in 2006 to 12.8% in 2016, while that with post-secondary education went up from 10.4% to 20.9% over the same period.
In 2016, there were 49 625 working single parents. 75.6% of single fathers (i.e. 12 760 persons) and 65.2% of single mothers (i.e. 36 865 persons) were working. Most working single fathers were engaged in elementary occupations (18.6%), followed by associate professionals (17.0%); while most working single mothers were service and sales workers (35.9%).
Analysed by industry, most working single fathers were engaged in the “Construction” sector (22.5%), while most working single mothers were engaged in the “Import/ export, wholesale and retail trades” sector (27.0%).
The median monthly income from all employment of working single fathers was $15,500, while that of working single mothers was $12,000, lower than the corresponding figures (excluding foreign domestic helpers) of all working males ($17,000) and all working females ($14,000) in Hong Kong.
The median weekly usual hours of work of working single fathers was 45 hours, while that of working single mothers was 43 hours. The figures were similar to those of all working males and females living with a child or children aged under 18. Relatively more single mothers were engaged in part-time jobs. About one-fourth (24.0%) of single mothers usually worked for less than 35 hours a week, higher than the proportion of all working females living with a child or children aged under 18 (19.4%). Similarly, the proportion of working single fathers usually worked for less than 35 hours a week (12.9%) was also higher than that of all working males living with a child or children aged under 18 (9.7%).
The median monthly domestic household income of single parents was $14,820, lower than that of all domestic households in Hong Kong at $25,000.
73.7% of single parents in domestic households were living with their child or children only, while the remaining were living with their parent(s) and/or other relative(s) in addition to their child or children. Most single parents were living with one dependent child and the average number of dependent children per single parent was 1.3. Besides, 48.3% and 41.4% of the single parents in domestic households were living in public rental housing and private permanent housing respectively.
Further details about the characteristics of single parents are available in the publication entitled “2016 Population By-census Thematic Report: Single Parents” which has been published today (February 9). The publication can be downloaded free of charge from the thematic website of the 2016 Population By-census (www.bycensus2016.gov.hk/en/bc-articles.html) and the website of the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp459.jsp).
Enquiries about this publication and the results of the 2016 Population By-census can be directed to the 2016 Population By-census Office of the C&SD (Tel: 3547 1800, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last revision date: 9 February 2018