By Irfan Hussain
Consider this demographic projection for the UK, and ponder its implications for a moment: within five years, the majority of babies will be born to unmarried parents.
However, before you put this down to yet another example of Western immorality, just remember that all these babies will have the same legal rights as those born to married couples.
This trend is part of the wider decline of marriage as an institution. According to a recent study, the figures for people getting married in Britain is at its lowest ever since these statistics began to be compiled nearly 150 years ago.
In 2008, only 21.8 per thousand adult men of marriageable age actually took the vow. At 19.6, the figure for women was even lower. And the average age for men getting married for the first time was 32, and for women it was nearly 30.