Hartlepool has one of the highest rates in the country of babies born to single parents
One in three Hartlepool babies are born to single parents, which is one of the highest rates in the UK.
Single parent charity Gingerbread said lone parents still face some stigma, but that recent reports debunk the idea that having only one parent can negatively impact children.
The Office for National Statistics figures show that 80 babies were registered in Hartlepool by just one parent.
A further 248 had two parents living at different homes.
That’s a total of 328 children being raised by single parents in 2017 – which accounts for 33% of the births in Hartlepool in 2017.
Also in Hartlepool 72% of babies were registered parents outside of marriage or same-sex civil partnerships, which is the third highest in the country behind Blackpool, with the highest, and Knowsley in Merseyside in second place.
Across England, 48% of babies were registered by parents outside of marriage or same-sex civil partnerships.
Rosie Ferguson, chief executive of Gingerbread, said single parents’ aspirations for their children may be thwarted by circumstances out of their control.
She said: “The majority of single parents work, but many are still locked out of the secure, flexible employment opportunities they need in order to provide for their children.
“Low-paid and insecure jobs, as well as the lack of affordable childcare, mean that some single parents struggle to put food on the table for their children.
“The Government must work with Jobcentres, employers and childcare providers to ensure that work genuinely provides a route out of poverty.
“We need to strengthen the system of support for single parents to provide a decent standard of living for them and their children.”
There were 396 babies born to couples in the town who were living together but not married – 39% of the total.
When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership, it means that 67% of babies in Hartlepool were born to a family with two parents at home.
In 2017, there were 1,006 births, 535 boys and 471 girls.
In 13 cases, mothers in Hartlepool went into labour at home.