Married couples now make up fewer than half the population, according to an official report on family living yesterday.
In a turning point in the fall of the traditional family, it said that only 48.1 per cent of people aged over 16 were married and living as a couple last year, and that many of those who would once have been married now live together as cohabitees.
The estimates that mean married couples are now a minority also showed that nearly one in 10 people who have shunned marriage now live together as cohabitees.
They also found that the ‘boomerang generation’ of young people who live with their parents because they cannot afford their own home has contributed to a steady rise in numbers who do not live in a partnership.
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