1. National

ONS releases birth statistics

The Office of National Statistics has revealed figures relating to family life in England and Wales. Among the findings are the average age for mothers in 2011 was 29.7.

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Half of babies born into married homes in 2011

This graph shows the relationship status of parents registering births in 1986, 2001 and 2011 Credit: Office for National Statistics

Just over half (53%) of all babies registered in 2011 were born to parents who were married or in a civil partnership, according to figures from the ONS.

The figure is a substantial drop from 1986 when the proportion was closer to 80%.

However, the number of births registered by sole parents (almost 6%) has fallen since 2001 while more parents are co-habiting (31%).

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