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HomeUKMost babies born in England and Wales in 2021 were unwed.

Most babies born in England and Wales in 2021 were unwed.

In 2021, for the first time since records began, more children were born outside of marriage in England and Wales.

It is the first time since 1845, but the numbers correspond with the COVID shutdown when marriages and civil unions were unlawful and impossible. They also indicate an increase in the number of stillbirths in 2020.

Most babies born in england and wales in 2021 were unwed.
Most babies born in england and wales in 2021 were unwed.

According to new figures, the number of children born to unmarried or non-civil partnership moms has surpassed the number of children born to mothers in such unions.

However, the count occurred during the COVID-19 shutdown, which prohibited weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 624,828 live births were recorded in England and Wales in 2021.

This comprises 320,713 live births to women who were not married or in a civil partnership at the time of delivery, which accounts for 51.3% of the total, compared to 304,115 live births to married or civilly-partnered parents.

It is the first time since such statistics were initially recorded in 1845.

The head of health analysis at the ONS, Dr. James Tucker, stated that the findings reflected a “long-term pattern of dropping marriage rates and increasing numbers of cohabiting couples observed in recent decades.”

“However, caution should be exercised when interpreting today’s results, as we do not yet know the full impact of the epidemic on marriage and civil partnership statistics,” he added.

Long-term trends

In addition, the fertility rate increased for the first time since 2012, from 1.58 children per woman in 2020 to 1.61 children per woman in 2021.

The 2021 rate stayed lower than the 2019 rate.

The 624,828 births recorded in 2021 represented a 1.8% increase over the previous year.

It marks the first annual increase in live births since 2015, however, the number is still below the 2019 total.

And the most recent year “remains consistent” with the long-term pattern of decreasing live births since before the coronavirus epidemic, according to the ONS.

The ONS estimates are based on birth registrations; however, due to delays, some births in 2021 may not be included.

It follows ONS’s March publication of provisional statistics based on NHS birth notification data.

In the context of the overall increase in fertility, fertility rates declined among younger women and soared among older women.

The lowest fertility rates were observed among women and girls under the age of 20 (16%), while those of women aged 35 to 39 increased by 5%.

Except for London and the West Midlands, all English areas had an increase in fertility rates in 2021, except London and the West Midlands.

In 2021, there were 2,597 stillbirths, an increase of 226 over the previous year.


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