What the numbers show

According to the National Statistics Agency (ESYE), there are 351,177 single-parent families in Greece. Of those, 292,485 are headed by mothers and another 58,692 by fathers. Single-parent families constitute 21.9 percent of the total number of families with children. Of those, some 18.25 percent have a single mother as the head of the household, with 3.65 percent led by single fathers. Of 130,902 single-parent households with children under age 18, about 41,367 live below the poverty line. Of this number, 22,826 have one child, 14,462 have two, and 4,079 have three or more children. The danger of poverty increases with the number of dependents. In single-parent households with one child, 27.1 percent are in danger of accute poverty. In single-parent families with two children, the percentage rises to 37.8 percent, and in those with three or more children to 48.5 percent. Some 14.5 percent of married couples with one child risk impoverishment, while 15.9 percent with two children do. In Greece, 91 percent of single parents are women, 73 percent are between 25-59 years old and 23 percent are from 50-64 years old. In 1971 there were 0.4 divorces per 1,000 people, compared to 1.1 per 1,000 today. In 1971 1.1 percent of out-of-wedlock births were recorded. In 2000, that number reached 4 percent. Of single mothers, 44.4 percent work, but 55.5 percent do not.