The most obvious indicator of life chances? Births outside marriage

Births outside marriage is certainly a “powerful” predictor of social mobility. Professor Robert D Putnam* “Family structure is roughly as important as parents’ education in predicting future social mobility for children”. Professor Paul Amato* Today’s Queen’s speech included the intention by government to introduce a new indicator of life chances. It’s a great idea. In…

The Marriage Gap: Almost all new parents are married if rich; Few are married if poor. Why?

Marriage is commonplace and almost universal among the rich whereas it’s rare and unusual among the poor. This is the remarkable finding from our new study released today, co-authored with University of Lincoln Professor Stephen McKay and using data from the Family Resources Survey and General Household Survey. (See report in Sunday Telegraph) Whereas 87% of the richest new…

The real child poverty

(This article was originally written for the website The Conservative Woman)  I don’t know how she does it. A friend of mine lives on her own with her three young children. She left her partner long ago, almost immediately after the birth of the third child. Since then, she’s brought up her children single handed, surviving…

European champions again …

For the second year running, UK is the champion of Europe, at least across the western half. It’s a competition we really don’t want to win. It means Britain is once more on top of the league table of family breakdown, joined in equal first place by the Danes, and just pipping the Belgians and…

Get married before you have a child: The hard evidence

Ever since the cohabitation boom took off in the 1980s, people have become a lot more relaxed about whether or not it is best to marry before having children. In 1989, three quarters of the British public said people who want children should get married. By 2012, this had dropped to less than half. Our…