Britain has the highest divorce rate in the European Union, a survey reveals today. The number of divorces throughout the EU is on the increase, with an average of 1.8 divorces for every 1,000 people. But in Britain and in Finland the rate is 2.8 divorces per 1,000, compared with just 0.6 per 1,000 in Luxembourg. But while the divorce rate slightly increased during the 1990s, the rate of births outside marriage has risen sharply - more than one child in four was born outside marriage in the EU in 1999, compared with fewer than one in five in 1989. The figures vary widely between member states - ranging from just 4% of births being outside marriage in Greece to 55% in Sweden. Britain is well above the 26% EU average, at 38.8%.
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