Maynooth University study finds greater diversity of families and emergence of 'new poor' in Ireland

Maynooth University study finds greater diversity of families and emergence of 'new poor' in Ireland

Irish families are becoming more diverse with greater involvement from fathers and grandparents, according to new research from Maynooth University.

Along with the traditional nuclear family we now have single parents, same-sex and co-habiting couples.

David Ralph, Assistant Professor of Sociology at TCD and co-author of the study, said: "You have mixed nationality couples where one partner may be Irish, maybe not Irish, you have migrant families where both partners are from outside the Republic of Ireland originally.

"There are people who might be single and choosing to remain single, divorced relationships, those in second marriages and step families.

"This diversity, I suppose, is the new norm for Irish families."

The study shows families are getting smaller and there are worrying signs of persistent poverty.

Mr Ralph said: "Those most at the risk of poverty, both in the past and up to this day, are single parent families, but particularly single parent families headed by females.

"Nowadays you have what you might call the new poor who are families where at least one partner is working, yet they are at risk of poverty or in fact in poverty."


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