Unmarried parenthood: new insights from the Millennium Cohort Study

Popul Trends. 2003 Winter:(114):26-33.


This study uses information from the Millennium Cohort Study to examine the characteristics of families where children are born within a marriage, within a cohabiting union or outside of a co-residential partnership. For this latter group, for the first time in a national data set, an assessment can be made of the 'strength' of the parent's relationship at the time of the birth. We show that the context of childbearing varies with respect to geography, ethnicity, age, parity and educational status of the mother, and that the socioeconomic wellbeing of families varies according to the partnership status of their parents. A closer look at the non-partnered parents shows that the extent to which the fathers were involved with the mother of the child around the time the baby was born was related to the presence of the father at the birth of the child and whether his name was recorded on the child's birth certificate; as well as to subsequent behaviour, such as, whether they moved in with the mother, saw their children on a regular basis or contributed money to the child's maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Fathers / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illegitimacy / statistics & numerical data
  • Illegitimacy / trends*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Parenting
  • Parents*
  • Parity
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Kingdom