London: Each minute, 2,500 Britons engage in love amounting to a staggering 900 million encounters of the close kind a year -- yet the activity results in barely 770,000 British births each year, a Cambridge mathematician has claimed.
The statistics, which apply to the entire population and have been adjusted for sleep, were revealed as part of an ongoing project to document how attitudes to sex and procreation have changed over the decades, Daily Mail reported.
The study also found that 30 percent of total sexual encounters take place before 16 and people between 64 and 74 are also having far more sex than previously.
Headed by David Spiegelhalter, professor for the public understanding of risk at the prestigious university, the study intends to provide answers to questions such as why fertility plummetted in the late Victorian era - despite women at the time having little or no access to contraception.
According to Spiegelhalter, the fall can be attributed to women abstaining from sex -- a finding in sharp contrast with modern Britons who can enjoy a spot of duvet action without consequence.
"For every conception, there are 999 heterosexual acts without procreation," Spiegelhalter explained during an appearance at the Cheltenham Science Festival. "So the poor old Victorians -- there is a lot more non-procreative sex going on now."
Spiegelhalter is writing a book on British attitudes to sex, entitled Sex By Numbers, which attempts to explain the modern penchant for having as much sex as possible.