22 September 2015

The Office for national statistics (ONS) has published the data for live births for 2014 for each local authority in the UK.

The data for Cornwall is in fact for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly unitary authorities combined; the very small numbers of mothers and children in the Scillies raise questions of confidentiality. The ONS data is in Table 1 here.

There were 5447 live births in Cornwall/Scillies in 2014. Never mind the bald figures: an analysis by ONS shows a significant change in our relationships.

More than half of all the live births in 2014 were to people neither married nor in a civil partnership; however, 51 percent of all the births were joint registrations by people neither married nor in a civil partnership. These are the figures:

(a) Total live births 5447

(b) Live births within marriage/civil partnership 2414, 44 percent

(c) Live births outside marriage/civil partnership 3033, 56 percent

Of the 3033 in (c), 2360 were joint registrations from the same address; 406 were joint registrations from different addresses; and only 267 were sole registrations.

What we see is people in committed relationships and neither married nor in a civil partnership; we see strong commitment happens outside a formalised, ceremonised relationship. It is bracing that only 267 live births outside marriage or civil relationship were registered by solely the mother.