NEW YORK (VINnews) — Death of the family? For the first time since records began in 1845, there were more children born in England out of wedlock than in marriages in 2021, according to official figures released by the British Office for National Statistics.
The latest Office for National Statistics data shows around 625,000 live births were logged in England and Wales during 2021. But 321,000 of these were outside of marriage or a civil partnership, while 304,000 were within one, meaning that just 48.7% of newborns were born to a legal couple.
However England is not alone in having more children born out of marriage. France leads Europe with the number of children born out of wedlock (59.7%) followed by Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Holland, all of which have more than 50% of children born outside a legitimate marriage. In the US rates vary by state but average over 40% of children born outside marriage.
Most children born to out-of-wedlock parents will spend their childhood with a single parent. Studies show that this status will affect their health at birth, cognitive development in childhood, academic performance and emotional and behavioral stability.