Research shows ‘married families more stable’

Only one in eight children born today to cohabiting couples will reach the age of 16 with their parents still together and unmarried, new research shows.

The report by the Marriage Foundation also showed that 45 per cent of teenagers aged 13-15 are no longer living with both parents, and 93 per cent of those who do stay together are married.

Just eleven per cent of babies born this year to cohabiting parents will not experience family breakdown by the time they reach their 16th birthday, the research showed.


The study made predictions using data from the census in 2001, and a survey of 40,000 households between 2010 and 2011.

Harry Benson, communications director of the Marriage Foundation said the report provides “solid evidence” that married parents are more stable than unmarried parents.

He said: “The contrast between married and unmarried parents who remain intact by the time their children reach their teenage years demonstrates that marital status plays a crucial role in family breakdown.”


He added: “With family breakdown costing an estimated £46 billion a year – that’s to say, more than the entire defence budget – in addition to the immeasurable social damage, it is clearly in the interest of government and the taxpayer to work to counter this devastating trend.”

The Marriage Foundation, a think-tank aimed at reversing the trend of marital breakdown, is headed up by Sir Paul Coleridge who is one of England’s most senior family court judges.

He was warned by Judicial Complaints to keep a lower profile after speaking out in favour of marriage.

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