Married couples will be in the minority in 24 years
MARRIED COUPLES WILL be outnumbered by single parents and cohabiting couples by the year 2031.
A report published by the Office for National Statistics revealed that the number of couples who live together has increased by 65% to 2.3 million in the last 10 years. Married couples fell by 4% to 12.1 million and the number of single mothers rose by 8% to 2.6 million.
The study predicted a 250% increase in couples aged 45-64 cohabiting by 2031, indicating a huge rise in children being raised by single parents or unmarried couples
Sociologists suggest that the Labour government needs to do more to emphasise the importance of marriage. Jill Kirby, of the Centre for Policy Studies, told the Telegraph: ‘Gordon Brown has consistently refused to admit the relationship between marriage and the welfare of children. All his policies are directed at children without looking at the family context. His welfare policies penalise marriage and deepen trends towards more fragile family forms.’
The Government’s upcoming ‘marriage lite’ law, which will see an estimated two million cohabitees have the right to financial maintenance and a share in their partner’s property if they break up, may further the trend against marrying.
The report also revealed that marriage is officially good for you, not just your children. Married women aged 40-64, says the report, have ‘significant health advantages’ over those who are unmarried, and men are also better off – just not financially.