More British people are cohabiting than ever before but families are still more likely to be based on marriage, new figures reveal.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 3.1 million cohabiting couples in the UK in 2014, including both same sex and opposite sex relationships. In 2004, there were 2.4 million, so there has been a 29.7 per cent increase in ten years.
However, despite this growth, families which feature a married couple are still the most popular type in the UK. The new statistics show that out of 18.6 million families in 2014, 12.5 million included a married couple. This is the highest number of married couple families since 1998.
There were slightly fewer civil partnerships than in previous years, with only 61,000 in 2014, compared to 67,000 in 2012.
The figures also revealed that there were around three million single parent families in 2014, roughly two million of which had dependent children. The gender divide among single parent families was very stark: 91 per cent of those with dependent children were women.
Of the nearly eight million families with children, 6.8 million of them had either one or two. Only 1.1 million families had more than three children.
To see a full breakdown of the latest ONS figures, click here.