The Puzzling Rise in Childbearing Outside Marriage

John Ermisch

in Understanding Social Change

Published by British Academy

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263143
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734939 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

The Puzzling Rise in Childbearing Outside Marriage

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This chapter analyses the rise of incidence in childbearing outside marriage. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the percentage of births outside marriage rose from 9% in 1975 to 40% in 2000. This chapter shows that the major factor accounting for this change is the dramatic rise of cohabitation among young people. It then analyses why there has been widespread substitution of cohabiting unions for direct marriage in Britain. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the implications for changes in family life.

Keywords: childbearing; marriage; cohabitation; cohabiting unions; family life

Chapter.  10405 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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