A recent analysis of Office for National Statistics data has led pro-marriage think tank the Marriage Foundation to conclude that unmarried couples are set to overtake married couples as the main source of family breakdown by the end of 2013. This is despite the fact that unmarried couples only account for only one in five parents.
Based on current trends, the percentage of family breakdowns from unmarried households is set rise to 50% by the end of 2013, says the Foundation. This will be the first time in British history that more unmarried couples have split up than those who have tied the knot.
Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation, who wrote the report said: “In short, we have an epidemic of family breakdown in this country because so few people realise how badly the odds of success are stacked against unmarried cohabitees. If you’re living together as unmarried parents, you’re four times more likely to split up than married parents.
“And that’s why this research finds that one fifth of couples who cohabit account for one half of all family breakdown.”
Benson highlighted that family breakdown can have a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of children and can also be very costly to the taxpayer through the cost of supporting single parents.
He called on all parents and future parents to seriously consider making a concrete commitment to their family by getting married, or at the very least making a clear plan for where they are headed.
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