The number of new civil partnerships formed last year was 49 per cent down on the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced.
A total of 861 new partnerships were made in 2015, compared to a significantly higher 1,683 in 2014. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act legalising gay marriage in England and Wales came into force on March 29 that year.
The overall rate at which new civil partnerships are formed has now fallen by 85 per cent since 2013.
A sizeable percentage of the new partnerships formed last year – 48 per cent – were made between older couples aged 50 or over. Before the introduction of same sex marriage they made up less than 20 per cent. The average age is now 48.5 years for men and 49.1 per cent for women. Three years ago it was just 40.8 years for men and 37.9 for women.
Meanwhile, the equivalent of divorce for civil partnerships, called dissolution, has also increased. There were 1,211 over 2015, 14 per cent more than in the previous year.
Elizabeth McLaren of the ONS said:
“Dissolutions are likely to reduce in the future as more same sex couples form marriages instead of civil partnerships.”
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