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Britons today : Living alone, getting fatter, drinking more, yet living longer: Male employment falls as women's education soars: Statistics show rising cost of welfare state. Randeep Ramesh The Guardian [London (UK)] 03 July 2010: 7. Britain's baby boomers changed the country, leaving it with smaller families, larger waistlines and a welfare state spending 10 times as much as it began doling out in 1948, the Office for National Statistics revealed yesterday. In the latest edition of its Social Trends report, researchers show that life expectancy is rising steadily, crime levels are falling and the country is wealthier than ever. But people are choosing a more fragmented and fractured existence. Far more people are living alone – almost a third of households contain just one person. Fewer are getting married, and divorce rates are now the lowest since 1976. Britain also has more single-parent families, which are four times more common than they were in 1961. "What we have seen is that women have a child with a man but then do not want to marry him. The problem is increasingly men in poor areas unable to hold down a job," said Anastasia de Waal, head of family and education at the right-of-centre think tank Civitas.
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