Client: Ministry of Social Affairs

Period: 2022 - 2023

The study provides an overview of the structure of households of families with children in Estonia, focusing on their structure and organization. It consists of two parts: 1) analysis of the Estonian Social Survey to track the dynamics of family types from 2009 to 2021, and 2) 2022. 2) analysis of data from a survey conducted in the autumn of 2022 among recipients of child benefits. The survey collected responses from over 10,000 families with children, mapping in detail the structure of households as well as the living conditions and well-being of families. The study was designed to allow for a more detailed analysis of the lives and care arrangements of children whose parents live separately, with a separate chapter dedicated to this topic.

Families with children were analyzed according to different household types. The households were divided into four broader categories: nuclear family, single-parent family, blended family, and other households. This classification was based on the kinship ties of the child with the recipient of child benefits, their partner, and other children living in the household. Each category was further divided into more specific subcategories. The majority of Estonian children (70%) live in nuclear families, consisting of two partners and all children being the biological children of both partners. 17% of children live in single-parent families, and 12% live in blended families, where there are two partners, and not all children are biological offspring of both partners. A very small proportion (less than 1%) of children live in other types of households.

The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the results can be found in two reports: