Family Law Hub

Opposite-sex marriage rates for 2015 lowest on record

Figures set out in just published ONS Statistical Bulletin for 2015

  • Marriage rates between opposite sex couples hit a low in 2015 according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

    In 2015 there were 21.7 marriages per thousand unmarried men and 19.8 marriages per thousand unmarried women. These figures reflect a long term declne since the early 1970's, when in 1972 there 84 marriages per thousand unmarried men and 64 marriages per thousand unmarried women. The graph below illustrates the trend.

    Other notable findings from the Bulletin are that:

    • there were 239,020 marriages between opposite-sex couples in 2015, a decrease of 3.4% from 2014 when there 247,372 marriages, and 0.8% lower than in 2013.
    • compared with 2005, marriage rates for opposite-sex couples marrying in 2015 were lower at all ages, except for men aged 65 and over and women aged 55 and over where marriage rates increased.
    • there were 6,493 marriages between same-sex couples, 56% were between female couples; a further 9,156 same-sex couples converted their civil partnership into a marriage.
    • civil ceremonies among opposite-sex couples decreased by 1.6%, while religious ceremonies decreased by 8.0% compared with 2014.
    • same-sex couples mostly solemnised their marriages in civil ceremonies; there were only 44 religious ceremonies accounting for 0.7% of all marriages of same-sex couples.
    • of all individuals marrying a same-sex partner, 85% were forming their first legally recognised partnership compared with 76% for opposite-sex couples.

    The full Bulletin is available on the ONS website.

News, published: 01/03/2018


Published: 01/03/2018


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