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An illegitimate argument

12 December 2007

11:25 AM

12 December 2007

11:25 AM

Today’s headlines about how one in five kids is born to a foreign mother overlooks a rather interesting fact. In London, it’s one in two. And these newcomers conform better than natives to what we like to call “traditional” British values – in that far more of them are born inside marriage. When researching my political column for tomorrow’s treble issue (our biggest ever, don’t miss it) I found that if you stripped out immigrants then 2007 will prove to be the first year in recorded British history that most kids would be born outside marriage. So this year we have passed a true social landmark: what we used to call “illegitimacy” has this year become the norm (for British-born people, anyway). And only mass immigration conceals this trend.

Live births in UK within marriage (as %) by country of birth of mother. Source: ONS.
 
            All         UK                      New      Far    Pakistan
           in UK    Born     Ireland Cwlth    East
2002   59.4      54.6      69.5      86.9      84.8     98.4
2003   58.6      53.6      67.4      85.8      86.2     98.2
2004   57.8      52.5      67.9      85.4      88.3     97.9
2005   57.2      51.5      66.2      84.8      85.5     98.0
2006   56.5      50.6      67.7      84.8      85.2     97.9
2007*  55.8     49.6      66.4       84.3     86.6     97.8
* 2007 data is a projection, from five-year trend


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