Others are casualties of the trend towards cohabitation in which, statistically, relationships are more likely to break down.
It involved 19,000 people being interviewed in 8,500 homes last year by the Office for National Statistics.
The findings also reinforce current concerns highlighted by the Government's Chief Medical Officer about heavy drinking among women.
But the most startling figures are those which demonstrate the breakdown of the traditional family, an occurrence often linked with poverty, difficulties for children and social breakdown.
For the first time in recorded history, more than half of British women over the age of 16 are unmarried.
As marriage continues to decline in popularity, increasing numbers of men and women in their twenties and thirties are choosing to live alone, according to Government figures released yesterday.
Many of the unmarried women are single mothers, with more than a quarter of families now led by a single parent.
Married women make up less than 50 per cent of the female population - leaving a majority single, divorced or widowed.
And more than one in ten of the age-group who would at one time have been forming families are now living by themselves, according to the findings of the General Household Survey.
Just 54 per cent of men over the age of 16 are married.
Around 12 per cent of men and women between the ages of 25 and 44 live alone - more than twice as many as in the late 1980s and six times as many as in the early Seventies.
Many women are choosing their careers above marriage and families.