Slovenian families getting smaller

Ljubljana – Slovenian families have contracted in size over the past 40 years. The number of those living alone has more than doubled and the number of childless families has risen by nearly a half, shows data released by the Statistics Office ahead of International Day of Families.

Slovenian statisticians have been monitoring data on families since 1981, during which time society and the way of life in the country has changed, which is reflected in the figures.

Last year, 80% of Slovenia’s population lived in families as defined by statistics, which compares to 88% forty years ago.

The Statistics Office notes that the increase in the share of population living alone is linked to population ageing. The share of those aged 80 or over has tripled and it is this group that tends to live alone or in institutional households such as care homes.

Many of those who live alone are foreigners. These are often men who came to Slovenia on their own to get a job. Over the past decade alone, the share of foreign nationals in the population has doubled.

Since 40 years ago, the share of families without children has increased from 21% to 30%, and the share of those with two or more children has decreased. Only one out of four families has two children now but it used to be one out of three.

The share of large families, those having three or more children, has declined from 10% to 6%, while the percentage of families with one child has remained roughly the same (39% in 2021 and 37% in 1981).

The average number of children in families with children has decreased from 1.70 to 1.56.

More families being without children is in part attributed to the longer life expectancy and population ageing as more couples grow old together.

Married couples with children accounted for 63% of all families forty years ago, but the share has since contracted to 34% as the proportion of families of cohabiting couples with children has gone up from 1% to 13%, and the share of single-parent families has increased from 14% to 23%.

Since 2007 more than half of children are born to unmarried couples.