Marriage Statistics


The Office of National Statistics (“ONS”) has recently released its report in relation to marriages taking place in 2015.

This records that there were 239,020 marriages between opposite-sex couples, a decrease of 3.4% from the year before. Marriage rates have decreased to the lowest rate on record. However, for men over the age of 65 or women over the age of 55, the marriage rate has in fact increased.

In 2015 there were 6,493 marriages between same-sex couples, of which 50% between female couples. That year 9,156 same-sex couples converted their civil partnership into a marriage.

Of interest the ONS’ report for the divorces in 2016 records 106,959 divorces of opposite-sex couples, an increase of 5.8% from the year before. There were 112 divorces of same-sex couples in 2016, of which 78% were among female couples.

The divorce rate for opposite-sex couples in 2016 was highest amongst men aged 45-49 and women aged between 30-39. Of interest the statitition has identified that although divorce of opposite-sex couples increased by 5.8% in 2016, compared with the year before, this is in fact still 30% lower than the highest peak in 2003.

It would appear that by enlarge since the end of the 1960s the marriage rate has fallen. At that time there were over 400,000 a year. At that time there was also significantly less than 100,000 divorces. During the same period the divorce rate increased during the 1990s and early 2000s, but the number of divorces have since been falling.

Of course it is evident that because of a significant reduction in the number of couples marrying, the number of divorces are also falling.

Will Giles is a Specialist Family Law Solicitor, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer at Woollcombe Yonge, Solicitors.