Mar­riage a pre­serve for the bet­ter off, UK survey shows

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE BET­TER-OFF are almost 50 per­cent more likely to wed than those with less money, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

The study from the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics (ONS) also shows that the mar­riage gap in the UK has widened over the past decade. In 2001, top earn­ers were 24 per­cent more likely to tie the knot than those lower down the so­cial lad­der. Yet now the fig­ure has soared to 48 per­cent.

“Mar­riage has be­come a pre­serve of the bet­ter off. That means we have much less sta­bil­ity through­out the pop­u­la­tion,” said Christian Guy, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for So­cial Jus­tice.

“We have had a ben­e­fits sys­tem which says not just don’t get mar­ried, but don’t bother get­ting to­gether. You are bet­ter off fi­nan­cially if you live apart. The cost of get­ting mar­ried is also putting peo­ple off hav­ing a wed­ding.”

The ONS di­vides work­ers into seven so­cial cat­e­gories with higher man­age­rial at the top. At the bot­tom are those in so-called rou­tine oc­cu­pa­tions such as clean­ers and wait­ers. Nine out of 10 new par­ents in the top bracket were mar­ried. By con­trast, only half of those paid the min­i­mum wage could make the same claim.

To­day, the av­er­age 15-year-old is more likely to have a smart­phone than a fa­ther at home.

In 1964, 93 per­cent of chil­dren were born to mar­ried par­ents. The fall in mar­riages is also hav­ing a knock-on ef­fect on fam­ily break­downs among the less well off. – Daily Mail

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