Thousands Of Children Under 16 Lose A Parent

Photo of author
Written By Mohsen Salami

A sad reason for families considering life insurance for parents is the latest shocking statistic that reveals thousands of children born each year will experience a mum or dad dying before they reach 16 years old.

The data from the Office for National Statistics found 1% of children in England and Wales born between 1971 and 2000 had their mothers die before they left school – and the number doubles for fathers.

In numbers, this adds up to 7,000 children born each year losing a mother and up to 14,000 having their father die before they reach 16 years old.

Of course, compensation from life insurance does not replace the loss of a close loved one, but does give a family breathing space to deal with the bereavement.

Impact of bereavement

Death can hit a family in many ways, from coping with emotional loss of a key life model so early in life to dealing with the financial implications of a family losing a significant income.

Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell said: “Since this issue was raised with us we’ve been looking at the data we have to provide new insight. This data opens a window into another potentially vulnerable section of our population.

“The information today gives us an idea of the scale of who is affected but we want to be able to shine a light on the impact early bereavement can have; what the effect of losing a parent is likely to be on a child and the challenges they might face in later life.

Most vulnerable in society

“As an organisation, we are looking at how we can provide better statistics to help make better decisions to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society. This is the latest in a series of data we have produced with this aim and we are planning to continue as we look to new technologies and data sources to improve our understanding.”

The ONS is also looking at how losing a parent can impact a child’s education and is inviting other organisations to co-operate in projects about how parental bereavement before the age of 16 can affect children in later life.