Office for National Statistics shows marriage in decline


The Office for National Statistics has released the latest information regarding the state of marriages in England and Wales. The proportion of the population aged 16 years and over in England and Wales who are married (either opposite sex or same sex) continues to decline. The most recent figures available cover 2018 and show only 50.5% of the population are married, down from 51% in 2017.

The statistics also show that whilst the proportion of the population under 70 years who are married has declined, the proportion aged 70 years and over who are married has increased from 50.3% in 2008 to 55.8% in 2018.

The number of people aged 16 years and over who are single and have never married has continued to increase, rising by 369,000 in 2017 to a total of 16.7 million people (35%) in 2018. The number of people aged 16 years and over who live with a partner and have never married has also continued to increase, rising by 1.3 million since 2008 to a total of 5 million (10.4%) in 2018.

Edward Morgan who works in the Centre for Ageing and Demography at the Office for National Statistics, commented:

“In England and Wales, around half of the population aged 16 years and over were married in 2018. The proportion of people married has been in decline over the last decade, while the single population has been increasing. However, those in their 70s and beyond are seeing a different trend where, despite a modest rise in the divorced population, the proportion of people aged 70 years and over who are married has been increasing at a greater rate.”

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.

Ipswich Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk