The children of people now aged 20 are twice as likely to grow up in ‘broken homes’ as their parents, the Marriage Foundation has claimed.
The campaign group predicts that the current generation of young people is significantly less likely to maintain a stable family life, thanks largely to the waning popularity of marriage.
The researchers gathered data from past marriage and divorce records, as well as from the Office for National Statistics. They used that data to project how the rates of marriage, divorce and breakups will change over the coming years.
They claim that as many as half of people currently in their late teens and early twenties will never get married. Out of the unmarried couples who choose to have children, the study estimates that the number who will stay together long term is very low.
Forty-eight per cent of 20 year-old women will never get married, the Foundation’s report also declares. This is significantly higher than women of previous generations.
Of those who do marry and have children, two thirds were likely to still be with their partner by the time their child reaches their mid-teens, but, the Foundation says, only five per cent of those who do not marry will have the same longevity in their relationships.
The Marriage Foundation was started by Sir Paul Coleridge. The former High Court judge said the data “reveals yet again how bleak are the prospects of so many young people, especially potential mothers, when they do not insist on marriage as the basis for parenthood”.
He added that he was “profoundly saddened and alarmed” by the predictions, and that he can see the situation “getting worse” if current trends continue.
Last year, Sir Paul Coleridge claimed that couples who are not ready for marriage should not have children.