Research Papers

Establishing the facts about family breakdown
transforming the debate about marriage

In the first six years of Marriage Foundation we have focused on establishing the reality of family stability and instability: what actually happens to couples and their children, who stays together and who splits up.  This is transforming the debate about marriage which, previously, had been obscured by myths and misconceptions.

Briefing Paper

This briefing note draws together our most significant findings to date.

See Our Top 10 Key Facts on Marriage


Would you still be together if you hadn’t got married?

During their first ten years of marriage, one in three couples say they wouldn’t still be together had they not got married. One in four …

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divorce rate

Relative Strangers: The importance of social capital for marriage

In our latest paper – covered by the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday – we analyse data from the survey we commissioned from Savanta …

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One in five weddings now start with a ‘prenup’

New Marriage Foundation research finds one in five UK weddings involve prenups and that they neither increase nor reduce the risk of divorce Prenuptial agreements …

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marriage gap

Wedding costs and the Marriage Gap

Almost one in three young unmarried UK adults aged 18-30 say they would be more likely to get married if the typical wedding was ‘cheaper, …

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marriage week

TikTok generation say “I want to get married”

Our new survey of 2,000 young adults for Marriage Week 10-16 May 2021 finds that over 80% of 18-30s want to marry More than eight …

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Swipe Right for Love

Nine in 10 Tinder and Grindr users now in a relationship want to marry, finds new poll Read our research note here and press release …

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Archive Section

As we transition our back catalogue of material to the format of our new site you can access it here.

Family breakdown costs £50bn a year

When couples split up, families move from one to two households. Poverty is a common outcome that affects children. Six out of ten lone parents are supported by the state compared to one out of ten couple parents. That’s where most of the £50bn is spent.

UK Among highest family breakdown in Europe

Five years ago, the UK had the highest rate of family breakdown in Europe. We’re not doing as badly today, but only because of big falls in divorce rates. Alas there’s no sign of a similar improvement among cohabitees

Lower Divorce Rates – Higher Lone Parents

Divorce rates have plummeted over the past 3 decades, but the number of lone parents has doubled in the same period. Why?… Because unmarried parents make up only one in five cohabiting parents but are responsible for one half of all family breakdown.

Stability is found in Marriage

Whereas stability is the norm if parents are married (75% stay together), it is the exception if they are not (30% stay together). As a result, among parents of teens who are still together as a couple, nine out of ten are married

Single Most Important Factor

The single most important factor in a child’s healthy development is the stable relationship of the parents. Our groundbreaking research shows that family breakdown is the #1 predictor of teenage mental health problems.

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