Monday, 31 March 2008

The Times: Weddings are off: marriage rate falls to lowest level for 144 years

The proportion of Britons choosing to marry is at the lowest level since the figure was first calculated in 1862.

Politicians and financial experts blamed the Government for the fall in the marriage rate, saying that the tax system encourages people to stay single. Academics said that young people were increasingly wary of commitment, and many preferred the freedom of the single lifestyle.

The data, published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics, reflects a steady decrease in the number of marriages, bar a brief rise between 2002 and 2004.

The 2006 figures show that the marriage rate for men was 22.8 per 1,000, and for women 20.5: the lowest rate in 144 years. And the number of marriages fell by 4 per cent in 2006 to 236,980, compared with just over 244,000 the previous year. There has not been a year with fewer marriages in England and Wales since 1895. Read more
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