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Posted: 2/20/2006 5:48:39 PM EDT
Majority of births will soon be out of wedlock
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 21/02/2006)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/21/ntrend21.xml&DCMP=EMC-new_21022006


Half of all babies will be born to unmarried mothers by 2012 if present trends continue, says new research that suggests the rapid erosion of moral and religious taboos.

Moreover, fewer than half of families will consist of married couples and up to a third could be lone parents, said Dr Peter Brierley, a former Government statistician now specialising in religious trends.

Dr Brierley's projections followed the publication of official figures yesterday showing that the number of births outside marriage has almost quadrupled in recent decades.

The Office for National Statistics' Social Trends report, an annual snapshot of Britain, said that the figure rose to 42.3 per cent last year.

In 1994, the figure was 32 per cent and in the early 1970s it was less than 10 per cent.

The number of births outside wedlock exceeds 50 per cent in some parts, including Wales. In the North East, it was 54.1 per cent last year.

In London, where a higher proportion of young mothers are Muslims who adhere to more conservative family values, a third of children were born outside marriage.

The report said Britain now had the fourth highest level of births outside marriage in Europe, after Sweden, Denmark and France.

Much of the rise comes from a sharp increase in people living together. But the number of one-parent families is also increasing.

The figures have alarmed family campaigners, who say the collapse of marriage could have a serious impact on social structures.

They say that most of the statistical evidence suggests that children brought up by married parents do better than those raised by cohabiting couples or lone parents.

Dr Brierley, the executive director of Christian Research, an independent organisation that analyses Church statistics, said he had tracked birth patterns for his latest publication, Religious Trends 5.

"If we get to the stage where more than half of children are born outside marriage, we are fundamentally changing the basis on which society has worked for centuries.

"A whole range of traditional thought about 'home', 'marriage' and 'living together' will have to be re-examined.

"Psychologists say the children from single-parent families do not achieve so much or behave so well as those raised by married families."

Dr Brierley said his extrapolations show the number of married families will decline from 62 per cent in 2001 to 49 per cent in six years.

In contrast, the proportion of cohabiting couples will rise to about 18 per cent (from 13 per cent in 2001) and one-parent families could represent up to 33 per cent of the population (compared to 25 per cent in 2001).

"There is much more at stake here than statistics," he said. "The implications are quite frightening."

Although much concern has focused on single parents, cohabiting couples also provide less stable backgrounds for children, said the Economic and Research Council, a Government-funded social research body.

John Ermisch, a professor of economics at Essex University, said in a paper for the council: "Only 35 per cent of children born into a cohabiting union will live with both parents throughout childhood, compared with 70 per cent born within marriage."

Campaigners and Church leaders have accused politicians of marginalising marriage by undermining its legal and financial privileges and shying away from promoting it above other types of family.

Labour abolished the last tax break for married couples, the Married Couples' Allowance, while its tax credit system is said to favour single-parent families.

Ann Widdecombe, a former Tory Home Office minister, said: "After the death of the extended family, we are now seeing the death of the nuclear family.

"The long-term consequences are bad for everyone. A well-ordered society is based on the bedrock of marriage, otherwise we will have increasing social disruption."

4 November 2005[Arts]: Is 'I will' changing into 'I won't'?
30 September 2005: Marriage on the rocks as fewer say I do
12 August 2005: Whitehall opposed moves to wipe out stain of illegitimacy
13 May 2005: Record for births outside marriage



Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:50:51 PM EDT
what are the divorce and alimony laws like in britain? if it's as bad as the US i can't say that i blame the brits for not wanting to get married
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:53:45 PM EDT
Civilization is based on the family unit.

After that, were just wild animals.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:53:52 PM EDT
I'm guessing that it's the development of the welfare state that brings most of this on itself.

Why do I need my babies' Daddy when I can get the government to give me what I need?
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:55:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
I'm guessing that it's the development of the welfare state that brings most of this on itself.

Why do I need my babies' Daddy when I can get the government to give me what I need?



That and the destruction of the institution of marriage by government.

Government should get out of it. Put marriage back in the churches.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:57:00 PM EDT
With the constant devaluation of religion in British life in the past forty years, I'm not surprised. My Scots relatives go to church, but they find themselves the exception to their suburban neighbors.

Nobody believes in much of anything anymore. After a while, people will begin to say to themselves, "Just why are we here? What's the point?"
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:58:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
After a while, people will begin to say to themselves, "Just why are we here? What's the point?"



huh? people have been asking themselves that question for thousands of years. it's pretty much the core question of the study of philosophy....
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:02:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
After a while, people will begin to say to themselves, "Just why are we here? What's the point?"



huh? people have been asking themselves that question for thousands of years. it's pretty much the core question of the study of philosophy....



That was before evolution, DNA tests, nuclear physics, etc. There's no more mystery left. Nothing left to aspire to after being here. We are just, the secularists would tell us, nothing more than accidents. God no longer exists in such a world.

Only the government seems to have any real power over people's lives.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:03:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Civilization is based on the family unit.

After that, were just wild animals.



Very true
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:04:09 PM EDT
Half of all babies will be born to unmarried mothers by 2012

Huh. And I thought ALL Limeys were bastards.



Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:06:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/20/2006 6:07:19 PM EDT by 95thFoot]

Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
Half of all babies will be born to unmarried mothers by 2012

Huh. And I thought ALL Limeys were bastards.






I knew somebody was going to say that....
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:07:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Civilization is based on the family unit.

After that, were just wild animals.




Ehhh, I'd beg to differ. I think the fact we are a polite society, ensuring things like educating our young, creating safe living environments, and working to keep our bodies healthy through medicine are bigger staples of society than our social behavior.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:07:41 PM EDT
I love how the press gleefully reports on some new legislation that erodes "moral and religious taboos" as they put it, and then turn around a few years later and report Alarming and Distressing Consequences, but never tie the effect to the cause.

Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:08:56 PM EDT
Vito been knocking the bottom out over there eh?

Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:09:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
After a while, people will begin to say to themselves, "Just why are we here? What's the point?"



huh? people have been asking themselves that question for thousands of years. it's pretty much the core question of the study of philosophy....



That was before evolution, DNA tests, nuclear physics, etc. There's no more mystery left. Nothing left to aspire to after being here. We are just, the secularists would tell us, nothing more than accidents. God no longer exists in such a world.

Only the government seems to have any real power over people's lives.



i disagree. only YOU have power over your own life. anything else only has as much power over you as you let it.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 6:33:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
Vito been knocking the bottom out over there eh?






Link Posted: 2/20/2006 7:03:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
After a while, people will begin to say to themselves, "Just why are we here? What's the point?"



huh? people have been asking themselves that question for thousands of years. it's pretty much the core question of the study of philosophy....



That was before evolution, DNA tests, nuclear physics, etc. There's no more mystery left. Nothing left to aspire to after being here. We are just, the secularists would tell us, nothing more than accidents. God no longer exists in such a world.

Only the government seems to have any real power over people's lives.



"Haven't you heard? God is dead." -Neitzche from Thus spoke Zarathustra
this is one of the most misinterpreted quotes in all of literature. What the character means to say is that god is dead in the hearts of men. Seemed an appropriate quote given the disscussion.
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