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Marriage and cohabitation both increasing in England and Wales

Both the number of marriages and the number of people cohabiting in England and Wales  increased during 2011, new statistics show.

According to newly released figures from the Office for National Statistics, there were almost two per cent more marriages in 2011 than in the previous year – 247,890, compared to 243,808 in 2010.

The majority involved couples aged 25 t0 29 and were civil ceremonies, the statistics reveal. The percentage of marriages featuring civil ceremonies has also increased, from 64 per cent in 2001 to 70 per cent a decade later.

The proportion of people living together before marriage also increased, both for couples who went on to have a civil marriage and for those opting for a religious ceremony in a church. A significant 88 per cent of couples opting for a civil marriages in 2011 had cohabited beforehand, up from 75 per cent in 1994.

Meanwhile, 78 per cent of couples opting for a religious wedding in 2011 had lived together before the big day – almost twice as many as in 1994, when only 41 per cent cohabited before the marriage.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. JamesB says:

    PERHAPS men and women realise they are better together afterall, which is nice, for house prices also hopefully. Now stop building flats and start with starter homes again. Lol. Confusing.

  2. Lukey says:

    Yeah, but you’ve got to be careful with statistics, I’ve learned that the hard way – it also says this:
    “In 2011, the male marriage rate remained at 22.0 marriages per thousand unmarried men aged 16 and over. For women the rate DECREASED to 19.8 per thousand unmarried women aged 16 and over, from 20.0 in 2010.”
    So it actually got slightly worse.

    I think this is relevant too:
    “The largest percentage increase in the number of marriages between 2010 to 2011 was for women aged 55 to 59 and for men aged 60 and over, rising by 6.9% and 6.5% respectively.”

    I am not saying those marriages aren’t valid, but they cannot be used as an argument of a return to family values.

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