For the last few years, it’s become apparent that the trend away from marriage has at least paused, if not necessarily stopped. We have seen this in the population data – how many married or unmarried parents there are – and in the birth data – how many births to married and unmarried parents there are.
But the latest population stats suggest the tide may at last be turning.
- Among families with dependent children, 61.9 per cent were married in 2017, 2.4 per cent higher than the 2012 low, when 59.5 per cent were married.
- Among all families, with or without children, 67.6 per cent were married in 2017, 1.0 per cent higher than the 2015 low, when 66.6 per cent were married.
- Even the proportion of couples with children who are married has risen, for the first time, to 79.9 per cent of all couples with children, up from the 2015 low of 79.1 per cent.
It may be a long way from a revival.
Twenty years ago, 70 per cent of families with children and 90 per cent of couples with children were married, compared to 62 and 80 per cent respectively today.
But it’s a start. Perhaps couples are slowly beginning to realise that reliable love begins with a formal commitment.
Marriage was never old-fashioned. It goes with the grain of human nature.
And not before time. Britain has the worst family stability of any country in the developed world, where nearly half of all our teens are not living with both natural parents.
If we rediscover marriage as the foundation of stable happy life together, then we will be doing the next generation of children a massive favour