Most of the children of UK-born mothers are being born outside wedlock, a development that threatens to disrupt the lives of youths who grow up in unmarried households.
Latest figures published by the British Government's Office for National Statistics suggest that only a minority of children of long-standing British parents will grow up with a married mother and father.
Figures for babies of British-born mothers born outside marriage went up from 38.7 per in 1996 to 49.4 per cent by 2006. Analysts now believe that births outside marriage rate is certain to have gone up by around a percentage point. It means the landmark 50 per cent point for births outside marriage to non-immigrant mothers has now been passed, the
of Britain said.
In contrast, the report said only one in 50 children of mothers who were born in India before they came to the UK had unmarried parents.
Showing high levels of fertility among immigrant families, the ONS figures suggests that nearly one in four of all babies was born to a mother from abroad.
Sociologists, concerned over the development, believe the expectation that marriage will precede childbirth is disappearing from British life.
They fear disruption to Britain's social life as researchers have suggested that youngsters born outside wedlock face a greater risk of poor performance at school, ill health and in coping with problems of unemployment, drugs and crime, the report said.