According to final census results released last week, married couples have officially become a minority in the United Kingdom as the number of couples choosing not to marry increased by a massive 3.6 million in just 10 years.
The new figures bring together the results of the 2011 census from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and show that, as a result of mass immigration and a baby boom, the proportion of people who are old enough to get married and have actually married, has fallen from 51 per cent to below 47 per cent.
The number of single people living in Britain has risen by a quarter whilst the number of divorcees has increased by one fifth. The number of pensions has also increased as has the number of unpaid full-time carers.
The surge in the number of people classing themselves as single is likely to be down to changing working patterns and attitudes to older people marrying and cohabitation. The number of people who class themselves as single now accounts to 17.8 million people – over a third of the population of the UK.
However, at the same time the number of divorcees has also increased by a fifth to four and half million, whilst the number of people who are separated but not officially divorced has also increased by one fifth.
The Marriage Foundation’s Harry Benson said that these figures disguised the enduring popularity of marriage as the basis for bring up children, however he said that it was undeniable that marriage is less favoured than in the past.
Harry Benson said: “The fact is that the trend away from marriage is so strongly associated with increased family breakdown.
“It is a major concern that fewer people are getting married.
“Being an unmarried parent puts you at much greater risk of then becoming a lone parent.
“But the reality is that almost all couples who stay together while bringing up children get married at some stage.”