France tops EU unmarried parents chart

Six out of 10 babies in France born to unmarried parents in 2016, official figures reveal

France is the European capital of unmarried parents, according to official figures.

A total six out of 10 children born in France in in 2016, the last year for which figures are available, were born to parents who have not tied the knot, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, said - putting the French ahead of all other full member states.

The figure is 8% higher than in 2007 and is in line with the decline in marriages. In 2007, 274,000 weddings were performed, compared to 228,000 in 2017, according to figures from Insee, the French statistics office.

Between 2015 and 2016, extramarital births increased in almost every EU Member State with the exception of Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and the United Kingdom.

Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 59 %), Estonia (56 %), Sweden (55 %), Denmark (54 %), Portugal (53 %) make up the seven nations in the EU where the number of births to unwed parents outweighed the number to parents who are married.

Including European Economic Area nations, only Iceland has more out-of-wedlock births, with 67%.

Across the EU, the average is 43%.

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