Devon 'most unfaithful county'
Devon is Britain's "most unfaithful county", a survey of extra-marital affairs claimed today.
About 44% of spouses in the county are currently "playing away", independent research by OnePoll found.
The poll, claiming to be the UK's largest study of sex and marriage, was commissioned by IllicitEncounters.com, an extra-marital dating site.
The research also revealed that 4% of Devon spouses had cheated on their current partner on an earlier occasion.
The Devon adulterers may simply have been more honest than others, the website said, but the traditional values of rural areas like Devon - including early marriage - may also lead people to feel "trapped" in their relationships, it added.
Surrey was found to be the UK's "most saintly" county. Less than 1% admitted to being currently involved in adultery, and only 2% had cheated on their partner in the past.
OnePoll quizzed more than 4,000 married people on their relationship habits.
Nationally, 3% admitted to currently cheating, and 7% said they had cheated on their current wife or husband on an earlier occasion.
About 5% would cheat "if they thought they could get away with it", according to the survey.
Sara Hartley, from IllicitEncounters said: "In our opinion, Devon have just been much more honest in their answers. It has previously been estimated that around 40% of women and 60% of men will cheat during marriage, so these figures seem incredibly low
"Traditional values seem to have a strong hold in rural towns and villages, therefore many feel a strong pressure to marry.
"As a result, we see a lot of members from places like Devon, who married young and now feel trapped in their relationships.
"The Western Isles, which is widely considered to be one of the most religious places in the UK, has a higher percentage of IllicitEncounters.com members than most other counties."
Illicit Encounters says it has just over 5,000 members in Devon, and more than 450,000 across the UK.
The aim of the site is to create a "safe and non-judgmental environment, where married men and women can meet each other".
Its typical member is a professional, often working in management or as an executive, between the ages of 36 and 40.
Below are the top 10 cheating counties, according to the survey, with the percentage of respondents who admitted to cheating on their spouse - either currently or in the past - shown in brackets as a combined figure.
1) Devon (47%)
2) Avon (Bristol, south Gloucestershire, Bath and north-east Somerset) (19%)
3) Lincolnshire (12.5%)
4) Hampshire (10.5%)
5) Derbyshire (10%)
6) Cheshire (9%)
7) South Yorkshire (9%)
8) Kent (7.5%)
9) Essex (7%)
10) Hertfordshire (7%)
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