Back Almost a quarter of EU households have children


© Andrei Shumskiy/

To mark Global Parents Day, we are taking the opportunity to highlight data on households with children. In 2021, of the 197 million households in the EU, approximately one quarter had children living with them (24%).


Infographic: Households with children in the EU, 2021

Source dataset: lfst_hhnhtych


Among these households with children, those with one child were the most common (49% of households with children). Meanwhile, 39% had two children and 12% had three or more children. Around 13% of households with children consisted of single parents (6 million households), accounting for 3% of all households.

Employment differences between women with and without children

In 24 EU Member States, the share of part-time employment among employed women aged 25-54 with children was larger than that for women without children. Among these countries, the gap was largest in central and western EU Member States, such as Germany (34.0 percentage points), Austria (32.3 pp) and the Netherlands (27.3 pp). In general, smaller gaps were recorded in eastern EU Member States.


Source dataset: lfst_hhptety


In contrast, the share of part-time employment among employed women aged 25-54 without children was larger than that for women with children in Denmark (with 2.7 pp), Portugal (2.3 pp) and Latvia (1.8 pp).

While some Member States reported smaller gaps in part-time employment between women with and without children, women with children had a significantly lower employment rate than those without in most countries. For example, while Romania only recorded a very small difference between part-time employed women with children and without children (0.2 pp), it was among the Member States with the largest gaps between the employment rate of women with children and those without (10.8 pp).

It should also be noted that part-time employment is significantly dependent on the level of education. This topic is further developed in the article on employment characteristics of households (link below).

For more information:

Methodological notes:

  • A child is defined as a household member aged less than 18 years.
  • Bulgaria: 2020 data on part-time employment among women with children.

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