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Most babies will be born out to unmarried parents by 2016, ONS predicts

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.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Paul says:

    All too predictable, sadly. Marriage, as an institution, is now devalued in the eyes of many. Moreover, the possibility of being stripped of assets post-divorce in today’s easy-out society are too worrying for some who would otherwise take the risk and commit. What doesn’t help also is that judges have as usual, reserved to themselves the power to overturn an otherwise binding pre-nup.

  2. JamesB says:

    Well, some of my children were born when I was married and some were not, I am not with their mothers anyway. So, I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

    Having been married twice though it is a nice day and event.

  3. Luke says:

    It doesn’t matter what the Government does, no rational man will now marry, unless his wife has more money than him and so the possibility of divorce cannot financially bury him. That situation is unusual.

    The “nice day and event” is literally the only thing a man will get out of it – and let’s be honest, it is not really ‘his’ day, it is always going to be the bride’s day.

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