ONS Figures Reveal Rise In Marriages In England And Wales

Research Also Identifies Increase In Older Couples Tying The Knot


Official figures have revealed that the number of marriages held in England and Wales in 2012 rose by 5.3 per cent from the previous 12 months.

The research from the Office of National Statistics revealed that 262,240 marriages were held across the year analysed, with civil ceremonies accounting for 70 per cent of all weddings which took place in the period.

It was also revealed that while the greatest number of marriages was for men and women aged 25 to 29, the largest percentage increase in marriages was for men and women between 65 to 69 – with the increase being by 25 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

The figures also found that the number of marriages ending in divorce remained high at 42 per cent.

Expert Opinion
Considering the growing trend of more and more people choosing to live together without tying the knot, it is interesting to see the figures for marriage increasingly significantly from 2011.

"Our experience as a national family law team over the last couple of years or so has been that men and women are marrying later, and this is borne out by this latest report which shows that the average age of men and women on marriage has risen.

"However, the greatest number of marriages is for those between 25 and 29. We also frequently advise people who marry for a second time and they are often in the age bracket that has seen the highest percentage increase in marriage – between 65 and 69. Our experience is that people in this age bracket tend to marry rather than live together.

"Sadly the rate of marriages that end in divorce is still high at 42%. This highlights why it is important that – regardless of age – anyone choosing to tie the knot thinks carefully about protecting themselves and their assets before doing so. It can be a difficult conversation to have with a loved one, but a pre-nuptial agreement can be hugely beneficial in the event that the undesirable does happen.

"They are particularly important in second marriage where there are assets to protect for children from a first marriage for example."
Alison Hawes, Partner