Yesterday, the British Office of National Statistics released the annual Social Trends report (#39, 2009, pdf). This year's report made headlines with the finding that, in the most recent cohort (aged 25-29), more women reported having children (30%) than marriage (24%) (Belfast Telegraph, 2009). The most recent similar numbers from the U.S. Census (2004)show a much higher rate of marriage in women of similar age: 50.2%, compared to 37.3% of men.
The two-married-parent-family is still the most common family type in the U.K., making up about 64% of households with dependent children; single mothers are the next most common at 22%, followed by unmarried cohabiting couples at 13%. Single fathers made up less than 2% of these families.
Amusingly enough, I received an email while writing this post from the Alternatives to Marriage Project (which I'd been thinking about, unsurprisingly). It seems today is "National Healthcare Decisions Day". I'm constantly surprised by the number of documents it takes to stand in for a single marriage certificate (and how some parts are not currently legally replaceable). Meh. My feelings on the entire institution are mixed enough that I don't feel safe talking about it.
Related: 7/2/07 "Changing Face of Marriage"
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