More couples opting not to have children

The classic idea of a family in Austria is changing. According to Statistik Austria, four in every ten families have no children. More and more married couples are choosing not to have children.

There are currently 2,347,000 families in Austria, and 935,000 couples live without children in their household. In four out of ten families (39.8%), there are no children. This is based on the results of the micro census of 2012.

The number of families has increased by nearly 300,000 since 1985 to 2,347,00 in 2012. The number of couples without children living in their household has increased from 606,000 in 1985 to 741,000 in 2012.

This development has been caused by the increase in older married couples who have children that have already left home. The increase of couples living together without children is even greater. The number of these people has increased from 45,000 in 1985 to 194,000 in 2012.

However, married couples are also choosing not to have children: there was a decrease here from 700,000 in 1985 to 529,000 in 2012. The number of couples with children under 15 has risen from 21,000 to 122,000, but this only compensates this trend to a certain point and reflects the lowering number of children in the previous decades.

In 108,000 families, at least one child under 15 lives with only one parent, normally the mother (mother: 99,000, father: 9,000). More than every eighth woman with children under 15 is thus a single mother, and for men with children of this age, this is only 1 in every hundred (1.3%).

The percentage of single parents with children under 15 has remained roughly unchanged between 1985 and 2012 (13.6% and 14.2% respectively).

It is especially difficult for single parents to earn enough to pay for child care.  The employment rates for single parents with children under 15 is 71.2%, while 66% of mothers living in a couple state that they are working.