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In figures: How the UK is changing


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The UK's official statisticians have published their annual insight into how life is changing in modern Britain.

Here are some of the discoveries highlighted in the latest edition of their report, and what these say about changing lifestyles, circumstances and habits in the UK.



There were 25m households in Great Britain in 2008, according to the report, and the average household had between two and three people living in it.

The report highlights an increase in the number of people living alone.

In 1971, 6% of households were home to just one person. By 2008 this had doubled to 12%.

Couples without children now form a quarter of all households, up from 19% in 1971.

Lone-parent households now account for 11% of the total, up from 4% in the 1971 survey.



Almost a third of men and a fifth of women aged between 20 and 34 live at home with their parents, with children aged 20 to 24 particularly likely to remain in the family home.

The report suggests a "narrowing of the generational gap" between parents and children has made it easier for grown-up children to remain at home.

It also concludes that an increase in the number of students in higher education may have seen young adults either stay at home, or return to their parents after university, for financial reasons.


The report finds that, according to 2006 data, almost a third of families are living in "non-decent homes" which fail to meet the statutory minimum requirements for housing.

Almost one in 10 are also exposed to environments of excessive cold owing to a lack of proper heating or insulation, and a similar number live in a home suffering "serious disrepair".


One in four young people aged 10 to 25 had been a victim of crime in the last 12 months when surveyed in 2006, according to figures for England and Wales.

Almost one in 10 young people had been injured in an assault, while 11% had been assaulted but escaped unharmed and 12% had been a victim of personal theft.



In the early 1970s, more than 400,000 marriages took place in England and Wales each year.

By 2006, that figure had fallen to 236,980 - the lowest since 1895 and almost half the total recorded in 1940, when over 470,000 marriages took place.

The report adds that people in the UK are increasingly likely to marry later in life.

In 1996, just over one in six people getting married were aged between 35 and 39.

In 2006 that figure was closer to one in four, while fewer brides and grooms were aged 20 to 24.

The average age at first marriage is now 31 for men, and 29 for women.



Britons are becoming increasingly adventurous with their choice of holiday destination, according to the report.

More than 10 times as many holiday-makers visited Latvia in 2007 as in 2003, with other eastern European nations experiencing a similar boom in British visitors.

Package holidays, however, are on the wane as far as European destinations are concerned.

There were 18.7m package holiday trips abroad in 2007 but, whereas 56% of trips to European countries were package tours in 2000, seven years later that figure had fallen to 39%.

UK residents embarked on more than 56m international flights in 2007, up 26m on a decade earlier, but international journeys by sea had decreased by 3m.

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Life in the UK in numbers
08 Apr 08 |  UK

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