Britain has highest divorce rate in EU
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%.
The 500-page survey, compiled by the EU’s Eurostat statistical office in Luxembourg, reveals that total health spending by governments in the EU is on average less than half the rate in America - and the rate in Britain lower than anywhere in the EU apart from Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece.
Expressed in terms of Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) the figures put the EU average health expenditure per head of population at PPS 1,768, compared with a national low of PPS 1,167 in Greece and a high of PPS 2,424 in Germany. The UK stands at PPS 1,461, with America recording PPS 2,794.
The survey shows that in 1999 Britain boasted 40.4% mobile phone ownership - the number of mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants - compared with only 9.8% in 1995.
The EU’s highest mobile phone coverage is in Finland, at 66.8% but is only 28.6% in Germany. In America the figure is 31.7%, with 45% mobile phone ownership in Japan
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