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More new mums in Northumberland are unmarried than married, stats reveal

Baby statistics
Baby statistics

A majority of women giving birth in Northumberland are unmarried, latest figures reveal.

The numbers, released by the Office for National Statistics, reveal that 56.1% of the 2,820 babies born across the county in 2016 have parents who were not married or in a civil partnership when the birth was registered. That's a slight increase on the previous year.

Marriage or a same-sex civil partnership is the family setting for 43.9% of children. This means that parents in Northumberland are less likely to be get married before having kids than the average UK couple. Across the country, 52.3% of babies have parents in a legally recognised relationship.

The figures on births show the extent to which cohabiting couples who have not formally tied the knot are becoming parents. In 2016, 38% of babies were registered by parents who are listed as living together but not married or in a civil partnership.

Commenting on the national trend revealed by the figures, Nicola Haines from the ONS said: "Our data show that the overwhelming majority of births are registered jointly by two parents."

The ONS said that across the country cohabiting couples with children are becoming more prevalent. When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership it means that 82% of babies born in Northumberland in 2016 have a family setting that includes two parents at home.

The birth records show that in 2016, 160 children were registered by their mother alone, with no record of the father. A further 347 babies had parents who were recorded as living at different addresses. Together these children make up 18% of all the babies born in the area in 2016.

The ONS says that the figures for the whole of England and Wales show that the proportion of single parent birth registrations was at the lowest level since 1980.