Stepfamily Facts

Stepfamilies are currently the fastest growing family form in the UK. 1


The latest (2011) report from the Office for National Statistics recorded 544,000 stepfamilies with dependent children in England and Wales. 2


Stepfamilies tend to be larger than non-stepfamilies with 28% of married couple stepfamilies having three or more dependent children compared with 17% of married couple non-stepfamilies.


Nearly 1 in 10 (1.1 million) dependent children live in a stepfamily.


11% of all couple families with dependent children are stepfamilies.


Three in four (76%) stepfamilies include dependent children (the remaining stepfamilies included non-dependent children only). 3


85% if stepfamilies include dependent children from the woman’s previous relationship; 11% from the man’s and 4% from both partners’ previous relationships. 4


In 2005, Parentline Plus helpline received 14,500 calls from stepparents who were experiencing stepfamily issues. 5


The latest Parentline Plus call data analysis report (March 2009) recorded a total of 15,701 calls received; of 10,847 long calls 1049 (10%) were from stepfamilies. 6


15% of all marriages were remarriages for both parties. 7


Research shows that it can take family members at least 4 years to adjust and settle into stepfamily life. 8


For more information on stepfamilies, please see the list of sources below.

List of Sources:

  5. (A report by Parentline Plus: Stepfamilies June 2005 no longer accessible on the website)