View all data used in this Statistical bulletin 1. Main points There were , marriages between opposite sex couples in , an increase of 2. There were 4, marriages between same sex couples in ; marriages of same sex couples have only been possible since 29 March In , civil ceremonies among opposite sex couples increased by 4.
Same sex couples mostly solemnised their marriages in civil ceremonies, there were only 23 religious ceremonies accounting for 0. There were 2, same sex couples who converted their civil partnership into a marriage between 10 and 31 December Back to table of contents 2. Marriage rates for opposite sex couples remain below the levels recorded between and Following the introduction of marriages of same sex couples in March , 1 in 46 marriages that year were between same sex couples.
Men and women marrying same sex partners, were on average, around 2 years older than those marrying opposite sex partners. Things you need to know about this release Marriage statistics are derived from information recorded when marriages are registered as part of civil registration, a legal requirement.
Figures represent civil and religious marriages that took place in England and Wales only. Marriages to residents of England and Wales that took place abroad are not included, while marriages that took place in England and Wales to non-residents are included. Marriages of same sex couples first took place on 29 March Provisional statistics on marriage of same sex couples were published in August and October Back to table of contents 4. Marriages between opposite sex couples rise in There were , marriages between opposite sex couples in England and Wales in , a 2.
The increase in the number of marriages in follows an 8. Consequently, the number of marriages in remains below the number recorded in and Figure 1a. Number of marriages, to England and Wales Source: Office for National Statistics Download this chart Figure 1b: Marriages rates for men and women, to England and Wales Source: Office for National Statistics Notes: This scheme was abolished on 9 May Download this chart Image.
This is because they take account of changes in the size of the unmarried adult population, as well as the number of marriages. Marriage rates show the number of marriages per 1, unmarried men and women aged 16 and over. In , marriage rates increased for both men and women compared with Figure 1b ; the increase in rates is smaller than the decrease recorded in Consequently rates remain below levels recorded between and One possible reason behind the fall in the number of marriages and the rates in was considered to be couples postponing their marriage to avoid unlucky number Given that the number and rates in have risen, this is still likely to have been a factor.
However, since the number and rates have not exceeded, or even returned to levels, other factors are also likely to have influenced this fall. More information on the long-term decline in marriages and marriage rates between and is available in Marriages in England and Wales ; factors which may have influenced the increase in marriages and the overall marriage rates from to are also outlined. The percentage of men and women who have ever married has been declining over recent decades along with the percentage of men and women who have ever remarried.
More explanation of these trends are available alongside the data. Back to table of contents 5. More females than males married a partner of the same sex A total of 4, marriages were formed between same sex couples in Marriages of same sex couples have only been possible since 29 March ; taking this into account, the number of marriages of same sex couples in is considered to be similar to the number of civil partnerships formed in the year prior to the change in legislation.
Number of marriages of same sex couples and civil partnerships, to England and Wales Source: Following the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act , the first day that couples could normally form a partnership was 21 December in England and Wales.
Civil partnerships still remain available to same sex couples following the introduction of marriages for same sex couples. An announcement was made in December that marriages of same sex couples could be formed in England and Wales from 29 March Marriage figures for are due to be published in autumn-winter Download this chart Back to table of contents 6. Only 23 same sex couples married through religious ceremonies in ; not all religious organisations conduct marriages of same sex couples.
The percentage of opposite sex couples marrying through religious ceremonies has decreased steadily over time. However since , civil marriages have consistently outnumbered religious marriages every year. Civil marriages not held in approved premises are conducted in a register office. There has been a continual increase in the percentage of opposite sex couples marrying in approved premises, coinciding with a rise in the number of approved premises available since their introduction in Back to table of contents 7.
Back to table of contents 8. At what age are couples getting married? Among opposite sex couples, more women than men married at ages under 30; at ages 30 and over, more men married. This pattern, which has been recorded since , reflects that on average, men tend to form relationships with women younger than themselves. Among same sex couples, more women than men married at ages under 50; at ages 50 and over, more men married. In , prior to the introduction of marriages for same sex couples, more women than men entered a civil partnership at ages under 40 while at ages 40 and over, more men formed a civil partnership.
For marriages of opposite sex couples, the average mean age for men marrying in was This represents a slight increase compared with The average age at marriage for same sex couples in was slightly higher at Average age at marriage for men and women, to England and Wales Source: The first marriages of same sex couples took place in England and Wales on 29 March The average age has been calculated by excluding a very small number of records where the age of the party was not stated; our datasets report the number of records where the age has not been stated.
Download this chart Back to table of contents 9. Marriage rates for opposite sex couples increase for those aged 35 and over Marriage rates provide a better indication of trends than simply looking at the number of marriages; this is because they take account of the size of the unmarried population, which will affect the number of marriages. Marriage rates for opposite sex couples marrying in increased for both men and women aged 35 and over, compared with Marriages of opposite sex couples: Office for National Statistics Download this chart Figure 5: Office for National Statistics Download this chart Image.
This is the first year for which marriage rates are available for marriages of same sex couples. Figure 6 shows that marriage rates for same sex couples are higher among women than men at ages 20 to 44 years; at ages 50 and over rates are higher among men.
For marriages of opposite sex couples, a similar pattern exists, however, rates for women are higher at ages under 35 while at older ages rates are higher among men. Marriages of same sex couples: The population denominator used to calculate these rates is the unmarried population aged 16 and over.
Marital status estimates are not available by sexual identity. Download this chart Back to table of contents Slightly more males than females converted their civil partnership into a marriage Following implementation of the Marriage Same Sex Couples Act , same sex couples in a civil partnership have been able to convert their existing civil partnership into a marriage, if they so desired, from 10 December In the last 3 weeks of , there were 2, couples who converted their existing civil partnership into a marriage.
Back to table of contents Links to related statistics For more detailed marriage statistics see our datasets, which provide a long time series, or our explorable datasets , which provide detailed marriage statistics for to The number of marriages and the marriage rate for the UK and constituent countries can be found in the Vital Statistics: Population and Health Reference Tables.
Provisional figures on marriages of same sex couples and the number of couples converting their civil partnership into a marriage were published in October What percentage of marriages end in divorce? Around half of these divorces are expected to occur in the first 10 years of marriage. Further statistics on divorces , civil partnerships and civil partnership dissolutions , families and households , and population estimates by marital status are available on our website.
Special extracts and tabulations of marriage data for England and Wales are available to order subject to legal frameworks, disclosure control, resources and the ONS charging policy , where appropriate. Enquiries should be made to Vital Statistics Outputs Branch vsob ons. User requested data will be published onto our website. Following the introduction of marriages of same sex couples on 29 March , this publication now provides statistics on both marriages of opposite sex couples and marriages of same sex couples.
Summary tables include main figures and provide a long time series for comparison where possible. Explorable datasets can be used to obtain more detailed statistics for marriages of both opposite sex and same sex couples. Responses to our consultation on user requirements for marriage, divorce and civil partnership statistics for England and Wales which ran from 8 October to 17 December , were used to help determine the content of this release.
A document summarising these changes and responses to our consultation was published in April Quality and methodology This is the first time that final marriage statistics for England and Wales have been published for The release provides final annual data. It is currently only possible to publish final annual marriage statistics around 26 months after the end of the reference year.
This is due to delays in the submission of marriage entries by the clergy and authorised persons. Figures are published once we consider the annual dataset is acceptably complete. Marriage records received after our annual dataset is taken are not included in published figures.