Just one in ten of the children born to cohabiting parents this year will reach their 16th birthdays with both parents still together and unmarried, a report predicts.
The rest will see their parents either split up or tie the knot, campaign group the Marriage Foundation claims after analysing national survey statistics.
Currently, only 45 per of children currently aged 13 to 15 are still living with both their parents, notes the report – and 93 per cent of parents with children in that age group who are still together are married.
The report is based on findings from Understanding Society, an academic survey of 40,000 households across the UK.
Harry Benson is the author of the report, entitled The myth of “long-term stable relationships” outside of marriage. He said:
“The report provides solid evidence that married parents are more stable than unmarried parents. The contrast between married and unmarried parents who remain intact by the time their children reach their teenage years demonstrates that marital status plays a crucial role in family breakdown.”
“With family breakdown costing an estimated £46 billion a year – that’s to say, more than the entire defence budget – in addition to the immeasurable social damage, it is clearly in the interest of government and the taxpayer to work to counter this devastating trend.”