The majority of UK children will be born to unmarried parents by 2016, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has predicted.
According to new ONS figures, the proportion of children born to unmarried parents rose for the 40th consecutive year in 2012, reaching 47.5 per cent. The proportion is expected to exceed 50 per cent within three years.
In 1938, when the ONS began collecting the data, just four per cent of children were born to unmarried parents.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, MP Tim Loughton reiterated earlier calls for a tax break for married couples.
“If people are prepared to make a public declaration to each other in front of their friends and family they are more likely to stay together. Without marriage people drift in and out of relationships very easily. In families where parents break up children do less well at school, are more likely to suffer mental health problems and are more likely to have substance abuse problems. The government needs to send a very clear message that it supports marriage. That’s why married tax breaks are so important.”
A total of 729,674 babies were born in 2012 , a noticeable increase from 723,913 in 2011.