The latest Census on marriage and civil partnership status in England and Wales, released this morning, shows that the number of people getting married is at the lowest rate on record and the median age of those getting married is increasing.
The data also suggests a divergence of approach to traditional relationship structures between generations. While more people are choosing not to marry or form a civil partnership at all, this is being seen in a far greater proportion in younger age groups.
The biggest increase in this trend is evident in the 25 to 29 years age group, where 73.9% chose not to marry or be in a civil partnership in 2011 rising to 84.2% in 2021. The increase for those aged 30 to 34 years was from 49.2% to 58.9% between 2011 and 2021.
Today’s data confirms that marriage is falling “out of fashion”. These statistics should add weight to the importance of the Government bringing proper focus to the rights of cohabiting couples.
Disappointingly, reform in this area was effectively shelved by the Government at the end of last year, a decision which, this data shows, could leave huge numbers of individuals without effective legal protections should their relationships end.