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Statistics on children and their families in 2018

In 2018, 64 000 children experienced their parents’ separation

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2019-06-19 9.30

In 2018, 64 000 children experienced the separation of their parents. This corresponds to 3.7 percent of children younger than 18 years who lived together with two parents at the beginning of the year.

The share of children who experienced a separation of their parents was lowest among children aged 0 years (3.1 percent) and highest among those aged 3 years and 5 years (4.2 percent). There are no differences between girls and boys.

Children living with an original parent and a stepparent more often experience their parents separating than children living with both of their original parents (biological or adoptive parents). In 2018, 3.0 percent of children living with both their original parents experienced this, compared to 11.4 percent among children living with one parent and a stepparent.

Separations are more common for children with a foreign background than for children with a Swedish background, and more common if the parents have a lower level of income than if the parents have a higher level of income.

Share of children 0-17 years whose parents separated in 2018, by type of family and background


Separations most common in Gävleborg County

A comparison between different counties shows that the share of separations is highest in Gävleborg County. The share of separations was lowest in Halland County, following by Jönköping County and Kronoberg County. The share of separations varies greatly in individual municipalities in different years. In 2018, the share of separations was lowest in Ydre municipality, followed by Vaxholm and Danderyd. The share of separations was in highest in Storfors, followed by Orsa and Norberg.

New statistics on children and their families

The 2018 statistics for Children and their families have now been published in the Statistical Database. The statistics include information on families with children, the child’s type of family and siblings, adopted children, separations, children with Swedish and foreign background, as well as housing.

Definitions and explanations

Statistics on separations are based on population registration data on children and parents in two consecutive years. For 2018, population registration data on 31 December 2018 was studied regarding children who were registered in the population on 31 December 2017 as living with cohabiting parents (biological, adoptive or stepparents). If the parents were registered as living at different addresses at the end of 2018, the assumption was made that the child experienced a separation of their parents during the year.

Children with Swedish background refers to children who are Swedish born and who have at least one Swedish born parent. Children with foreign background refers to foreign born children and Swedish born children with two foreign born parents.

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Section for Coordination and Interdisciplinary Operations

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171 54 Solna


Anna Nyman

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