The number of cohabiting couples in the UK has risen by 22 per cent in the last ten years, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There are now three million cohabiting couples in the UK – despite an ONS prediction in 2010 that the number would not reach 3.3 million until 2033.
Meanwhile, the number of lone parents also increased over the last ten years, by 12 per cent. Together, cohabiting couples and lone parents make up 16 per cent of families in the UK.
According to the figures, the most common family type in the UK married couples or civil partners without dependent children. There are 7.7 million such couples, a three per cent jump since 2003.
The number of married couples or civil partners with dependent children, meanwhile, has fallen by one per cent over the same period, the only type of family to decline during that time.