Falling divorce means more intact families, says Harry Benson, Research Director for Marriage Foundation
New ONS Families and Household data for 2019 are released today
“Today’s figures provide yet another reminder to politicians of all parties that if they want greater family stability, they must wholeheartedly back marriage and commitment.
Despite the well-documented increase in relatively unstable cohabiting couples, the proportion of couples with children who are married has actually gone up slightly from 60.9% in 2009 to 61.4% in 2019.
In contrast, the proportion of families headed by lone parents has fallen significantly from 25.7% to 22.3%.
That equates to 35,000 extra couples with children who are still together because falling divorce rates have outpaced rising breakdown among unmarried families in the past decade.
Research has shown time and time again that, on the whole, married families tend to thrive best. They are most likely to stay together as parents. Their children are least likely to experience mental health problems. Divorce rates are falling because those who do marry today are more committed.
As parties assemble their election manifestos, I hope politicians on all sides will take note and back marriage.”
Daily Telegraph ‘Couples who married five years ago have experienced a full 50 per cent fewer divorces compared to couples who married in the late 1980s – the peak years for divorce. We are seeing ever greater stability within marriage and instability out of it.’
Financial Times ‘The trend fits with a narrative of “deciding rather than sliding into a future together” said Harry Benson, research director at the Marriage Foundation, a charity, as a result of declining family and social pressure to marry’.