Less than 45 per cent of people who do manual labour are now married, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Meanwhile, more than two thirds of their professional neighbours have tied the knot.
Both figures have changed since 2001. In that year 64.8 per cent of the senior managers and professionals classed by the ONS as being in “social class 1”were married. By 2011 that figure had increased to 66.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, marriage amongst manual workers has dropped sharply over the same period. In 2001 just over half (52 per cent) of the people classed by the ONS as being in “social class 7” – for example, cleaners and labourers – were married. By 2012 that figured had fallen to just 44.5 per cent.
Across the country as a whole, the marriage rate dropped from 53.3 per cent to 51.4 per cent.
The figures were commissioned from the ONS by the Sunday Times. They show “a clear class divide”, according to Anastasia de Waal deputy director of think tank Civitas. Calling for further analysis, she suggested that increasing economic instability may be dissuading the lower paid from marriage.