Well research from Geoff Dench, a fellow of The Young Foundation, has confirmed that many single mothers are making a lifestyle choice and favouring benefits over fathers.
As reported in the Mail Online;
One in four mothers is now a single parent, having made a 'lifestyle choice' to rely on benefits rather than a partner, a report revealed yesterday.
In NZ at last census 28 percent of parents with dependent children were single. Around three quarters rely on welfare.
More than half of mothers with children under 13 have never married or lived with a boyfriend and find it 'rewarding' to stay at home supported by state handouts, it said.
So how does NZ compare?
The Ministry no longer collects this information. Last time I asked they replied;
With regards to your other question on the reporting of the relationship status of single parents currently receiving the DPB, up until 2000 the Ministry included data on the relationship status of clients at the time they were granted Domestic Purposes Benefit in the Statistical Report. However since 2000 this information has not formed part of the Ministry's formal reporting and has not been reported on since 2003. As you are aware the Ministry is not required under the Official Information Act 1982 to create information in order to meet the specific requirements of an individual request. For this reason your request for this information was declined under section 18(e) of the Act.
Continuing from the Mail;
Researcher Geoff Dench, a fellow of the Young Foundation research group, said: 'The existence of state benefits as a source of economic security seems to be encouraging young mothers not to bother with male resident partners.'
...The report said there is growing evidence that 'lone motherhood is less a result of relationship breakdown, more a lifestyle choice'.
...The findings run counter to the claim, regularly made by pressure groups for single parents, that women most often become lone mothers because of divorce or separation.
...The analysis was based on findings from British Social Attitudes, the annual Government-backed survey of opinions and lifestyles that has been run every year since the early 1980s.
It shows that in the 1980s it was true that a typical single mother had broken up with a partner after years of marriage or cohabitation. In 1986 only 15 per cent of single mothers of children under 13 said they had never married or lived with a partner.
But by 2006, 57 per cent of single mothers had never lived as part of a couple.
...At the same time, more than three million men are classed as 'economically inactive', and live on sickness benefits, state handouts or in the black economy.