Marriage is key to stable families

Aug 2, 2023

Dear marriage supporter,

Married couples are far more likely than unmarried couples to still be together when their children turn 14, data from the landmark Millennium Cohort Study has shown.

The long-running survey follows 18,000 British families with children born at the turn of the millennium. Analysing the data, a new report from the Marriage Foundation think tank found that 84% of parents who are still together when their first-born child turns 14 are married, while just 16% are unmarried.

While noting an overall “depressing picture” of family breakdown in which almost half (46%) of first-born 14-year-old children don’t live with both their mother and father, the report highlights that married couples are far more likely to buck this trend.

The Marriage Foundation’s Harry Benson, who wrote the report, said his study shows the “simple truth that marriage matters”.

“Marriage provides relationship clarity and encourages good things like sacrifice and forgiveness, which are so important when children are involved. This is why couples who have tied the knot tend to be more stable and more likely to weather the challenges that life throws at them”, he said.

Sir Paul Coleridge, the think tank’s founder, added: “If you want to experience the rich rewards of fully enjoying your children… marrying the other parent is a crucial first step.”

The benefits of marriage come as no surprise to supporters of C4M. This data from the Millennium Cohort Study confirms what numerous studies have shown over decades, that marriage is the key factor for whether families stay together or break apart. Findings like these deserve to be declared from the rooftops so that no one is in any doubt about the difference that marriage makes.