Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 124

122 | 123 SOCIETY TOPIC DIVERSE LIVING ARRANGEMENTS Even in the individualised and highly mo- Same-sex partnerships are among those bile world of the 21st century, family is ac- forms of living that are gaining in signi- corded a central role. For almost nine out of ficance. In 2013 there were 78,000 homo- ten Germans, family continues to be the sexual couples living together in Germany – most important social institution and influ- a third more than ten years previously. ential reference group. At the same time Around 35,000 of them live in a registered ideas about the typical family form are partnership, which has since 2001 ensured changing. Less than half the people in that same-sex couples’ relationships are Germany live in a family unit. Despite the legally recognised. decline of traditional family structures, in 2014 married couples with children under Whereas on the one hand new forms of co- 18 constituted the most common family habitation are emerging, on the other the form at 69 percent. The number of mar- number of one-person households is on the riages shows a downward trend; in 2013 the rise. 41 percent of all private households are figure was 373,600. A little more than one in single households – 16.5 million people live three marriages ends in divorce. The aver- alone. While this development is a result of age length of marriages that ended in di- demographic change, with the number of vorce in 2013 was 14 years and eight months. elderly people living alone increasing, more Around 44,000 marriages take place be- young people are also living alone. tween Germans and foreigners. Targeted support for families The number of unmarried couples with with parental leave and family allowance children living together is significantly increasing. Between 1996 and 2013 the figure Structures are likewise changing within doubled to 8.1 million families today; every families. Intergenerational relationships be- tenth couple with a child is unmarried. tween parents and children are often good Families with just one parent are the strong- and as a rule are not characterised by tradi- est-growing family form. Today single par- tional or authoritarian upbringing patterns, ents make up a fifth of all parent-child con- but by involvement, affection, encourage- stellations and nine out of ten of the 1.64 ment and the promotion of independence. million single parents are women. Single The proportion of working mothers has parents are often at considerable risk of en- risen to over 66 percent (2006: 61 percent). during poverty; 40 percent of them draw