UK among worst nations for family breakdown

The UK has one of the highest levels of family breakdown in the developed world, a new league table shows.

Family campaigners called it an “epidemic” and said it is high time “timid politicians” took action to back marriage and stop playing politics.

Only Belgium, Estonia and Latvia have a higher level of broken families than the UK, according to a survey of 30 developed nations.


The survey was carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Just 68.9 per cent of children live with both parents in the UK, compared to an average of 84 per cent in the 30 nations surveyed by OECD.

The highest percentage of two-parent families was 95.2 in Finland, the lowest was Latvia with 64.9 per cent.


Christian Guy, of the Centre for Social Justice, said: “Timid politicians are becoming numb to Britain’s sky-high family breakdown rates.

“Behind too many front doors, family instability damages adults and children.

“Yet, as these OECD figures show, broken families are not some inevitable feature of modern society or social progress.


“It is time for people who oppose things that would stem the tide of breakdown – such as backing marriage as the most stable path for children – to stop playing politics.

“Our forgotten families need all the help we can offer.”

Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation, said the statistics should “convince politicians of all colours of their utter failure to deal with the central social problem of our times”.


He added: “This appalling epidemic of family breakdown costs the taxpayer at least £44 billion per year, more than the defence budget.

“Yet government have no policy whatsoever to reduce or prevent the continued rise.”