MORE than half of women giving birth in Warrington are unmarried.

The latest figures reveal that 52.2 per cent of the 2,297 babies born across the area in 2016 have parents who were not married or in a civil partnership when the birth was registered.

That is a slight increase on the previous year.

Marriage or a same-sex civil partnership is the family setting for 47.8 per cent of children.

This means that parents in Warrington are less likely to be married before having kids than the average UK couple.

Across the country 52.3 per cent of babies have parents in a legally recognised relationship.

The figures on births, released by the Office for National Statistics, show the extent to which cohabiting couples who have not formally tied the knot are becoming parents.

In 2016, 40 per cent of babies were registered by parents who are listed as living together but not married or in a civil partnership.

Commenting on the national trend revealed by the figures, Nicola Haines from the ONS said: "Our data show that the overwhelming majority of births are registered jointly by two parents."

The ONS said that across the country cohabiting couples with children are becoming more prevalent.

When counted alongside those who are married or in a civil partnership it means that 88 per cent of babies born in Warrington in 2016 have a family setting that includes two parents at home.

The birth records show that in 2016, 87 children were registered by their mother alone, with no record of the father.

A further 199 babies had parents who were recorded as living at different addresses.

Together these children make up 12% of all the babies born in the area in 2016.

The ONS says that the figures for the whole of England and Wales show that the proportion of single parent birth registrations was at the lowest level since 1980.