10:23 17 April 2009
The priorities of women today are a far cry from their war-time predecessors.
According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, for the first time more women are choosing childbirth over marriage.
Their annual snapshot of the state of the country, Social Trends, showed that more women are likely to have babies than they are to marry before the age of 25 previously a case of the reverse before this decade, with four out of five women tying the knot by their mid-20s and half of those had a child.
The findings point to a future of fewer marriages, however those who do say 'I do' are likely to be better educated, better off financially and have increased prospects for their offspring.
But those aspiring for a young brood had better have their bank account prepared. Mothers based social networking site Gurgle.com recently reported that parents spend more than 27,000 on a baby before they reach their third birthday.
The Social Trend report also noted an increase in the number of people living alone which has more than doubled since the 70s. Perhaps due to a fall in marriage rates and increased ease of divorce, the trend is mainly among the young and middle-aged.
Another tendency was an increase the number of 'kidults' - adults still living with their parents. According to the report around 1.8 million men and 1.1 million women aged 20 to 34 are doing just that a rise of 300,000 since 2001.
Possible reasons for this include the increase in young people continuing their studies, and with the new tuition fees, graduates are starting off their careers with even more debt than before. Add to this the previous difficulty to get on the property ladder and now the poor economic climate leaving a soar in unemployment and overall leap in the cost of living, the picture starts to make sense.
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State benefits and Gordon Brown's flagship tax credit system may be responsible as they pay more to single mothers than to couples with families, giving a financial incentive for single woman to have children.
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