A new report states that Ireland has one of the highest rates of children living in single-parent households in Europe.
An EU study on living arrangement across the European Community shows that one in four Irish children live in a lone parent household.
The EU average is just one in seven while in Greece the figure is one in 20 and in Spain it is one in 14.
Britain, Estonia and Latvia all returned figures similar to Ireland’s.
In contrast, Ireland has one of the lowest percentages of children living with both parents but where the parents are unmarried.
Just one in 14 Irish children live with their unmarried parents compared to about one in four in Sweden, Estonia, France and Slovenia.
The EU survey shows that marriage is still the favored option for raising children in Ireland with more than two-thirds of Irish kids living in a household with their married parents.
The Irish Examiner also reports that the Central Statistics Office’s annual yearbook shows the number of marriages registered in Ireland did fall slightly last year, down from 21,541 to 20,635.
Divorce numbers also fell, from 3,341 to 3,113, and the CSO report states that the number of divorces has been rising by an average of 14% per year during the past decade.
The annual CSO report also confirmed the loss of jobs, income, trade and tourists in another year of recession as the construction industry slumped by a further 30 per cent.
Ireland also witnessed a 12.5 per cent fall in greenhouse gases over the past decade and a 36 per cent decrease in sulphur dioxide, the pollutant that causes acid rain.
Prices for clothing and footwear dropped 9.4 per cent but the cost of gas and electricity rose by 9.6 per cent.