Marriage and Divorce: Ever wondered how many people get married or divorced each year?

Graph Blog
Have you ever wondered just how many people in England and Wales actually get married and how many get divorced each year? The Office for National Statistics collects such data and we at Barber & Co have put it into an easy to understand blog for you:

Marriages and Divorces in England and Wales from 1955- 2015:

From the graph we can see that marriages (for opposite sex couples) are at their lowest point in 2015 and have been on a steady decline since the 1970s.

The Office for National Statistics only gives statistics for marriages up to 2015 as its most recent publication but it has obtained divorce rates up to 2017.

  • There were 101,669 divorces of opposite sex couples in 2017, the lowest divorce rates since 1973.
  • Both the number of marriages and the number of divorces are on the decline. Could this be because more people are choosing to live together as opposed to getting married? If you co-habit check out our blog: for details on your rights.
  • It is interesting to see a difference from 1955 to 2015. In 1955 there were 357,918 marriages and only 26,816 divorces whereas in 2015 there were 239,020 marriages and 101,055 divorces which could reflect a change in the times in relation to marriage and the stigma of divorce which some may say was more prevalent in the 1950s then it is in today’s society.
  • There were 338 divorces of same-sex couples in 2017, which according to the Office for National Statistics is more than three times the number in 2016 when there were 112 divorces. Although this is not surprising since same-sex couples have only been able to marry since 2014.
  • Unreasonable behaviour was the most common reason given for divorces for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
  • In opposite-sex couples, more women than men got married at ages under 30; whereas men got married at ages 30 and over. This means that men tend to form relationships with women younger than themselves.
  • It is estimated (latest statistics were published December 2012) that 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce.
  • According to the Office for National Statistics the average duration of a marriage for opposite sex couples across all age groups is 5-9 years.
  • The percentage of marriages ending in divorce increases more rapidly in the first 10 years of marriage than the 10 years after that.

If you are going through or want to start a divorce Barber & Co Solicitors Ramsbottom offer expert advice to help you get the best outcome for you and your family. Call now for a free 30 minute initial consultation.

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*References- Office for National Statistics