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Tuesday, August 4, 1998 Published at 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK


World: Europe

Extra-marital birth rate leaps in Europe


A survey of births throughout Europe shows that the number of children born outside marriage has increased almost everywhere and, within the European Union, has more than doubled in the past eighteen years.

The survey, which was commissioned by the EU and the Council of Europe, covered forty-six countries.

Iceland showed the highest rate of extra-marital births -- two thirds of the total -- while at the opposite end of the scale Cyprus had less than two per cent of its children born out of wedlock.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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