Knot untied as marriage rate falls to 100-year low
Fewer people are getting married in England and Wales than at any time in more than 100 years, figures revealed yesterday.
A total of 232,990 couples tied the knot in 2008, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed. That is down from 235,370 in 2007 and the lowest total since 1895.
The marriage rate fell to its lowest level since records began in 1862, the ONS said.
In 2008 there were 21.8 men marrying per 1,000 unmarried adult men, down from 22.4 in 2007, and 19.6 women marrying per 1,000 unmarried women over 16, down from 20.2 in 2007.
Since 1981 the number of marriages conducted every year has fallen by a third.
Resolution, a group of family lawyers, said the legal benefits of marriage should be extended to unmarried cohabiting couples.
Vice chairman David Allison said: "The majority of people don't understand that living together does not give them any financial protection should the relationship end."