We are led to believe that the life of a modern single is full of joy and self-fulfillment, career opps and splendid outings to far away resorts affordable only for the wealthy loner. But dating sites all over the net bursting to their maximum capacity do nothing but shout about a great sense of loss and loneliness. Thousands and thousands of self-proclaimed happy singles search feverishly for Cinderella or that one knight in shining armor. For the most part only to be met with deception after deception. Of which little is told.

Nearly half a million single parents in the Netherlands
As more married and unmarried couples with children decide to split up, the number of single parents in the Netherlands continues to grow. On 1 January 2008, there were 466 thousand single parents in the Netherlands. Since 1995, the number of one-parent families has increased by 30 percent. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) anticipates the number of single parents to reach 494 thousand in 2016. Subsequently, a gradual decrease will occur. The number of two-parent families will drop by 40 thousand over the same period.

Increase in single parents in the Netherlands divided by males and females

Splitting up
The increase in single parents is predominantly caused by the fact that more married and unmarried couples decide to split up. The proportion of never-married and divorced single parents is significantly higher in 2008 than in 1995. This applies to single fathers and mothers. In one-parent families, approximately half of fathers and mothers are divorced in 2008.

One million singles more in 2030
The number of singles will increase from 2.4 million in 2003 to 3.4 million in 2030. The main causes for the increase are the breaking up of relationships and the aging of the population.

Middle aged and older
The increase in the number of singles will occur among middle-aged and older people. The number of singles aged between 30 and 64 will increase from 1.2 million in 2003 to 1.5 million in 2030. In these age groups the major reason for being single is ending the relationship. In the future an increasing number of people will live together without getting married. Unmarried couples split up faster than married couples. After breaking up the ex-partners will live alone, either temporarily or permanently. In these age groups it is the men who usually end up living alone. After the break-up women usually live with the children.

Increase in singles in the Netherlands divided by age group

This middle-aged single signing out for now.
(Source: CBS, The Netherlands, Arie de Graaf and Andries de Jong)