The Dom Post reported:
New Zealand society is near tipping point, with the number of children born outside wedlock fast approaching those born to married parents for the first time.
Statistics New Zealand figures show there were just 1000 more children born to married parents in the March quarter.
That is well down on the year 2000, when children born to unwed parents were outnumbered by more than seven to one.
In 1980 the gap was close to 30,000, while in 1951 the number of children born to unmarried parents was just 2000, compared to the 48,000 born to married parents.
It is unclear if civil unions are included in “wedlock” for the purposes of this data.
I’m quite traditional personally when it comes to marriage and children, and think ideally parents should be married to each other if they are having kids together. I like the fact it is a life-long commitment (even though of course many fail). If you have kids with someone, you are connected to them for the rest of your lives.
However many adults have long-lasting relationships, and are not married. They just don’t believe in the institution. I don’t think there is a huge difference between them and married couples when it comes to welfare of children.
Where there is a big disparity, is when the parents do not stay together. On average (so not all kids), kids raised in a one parent household do far far worse in almost every social and economic indicator.
So I’m not worried if parents are married to each other or not. What concerns me is whether they will stay together while their kids are young – and need both parents.