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Marriages in England and Wales

Recently published statistics from the Office for National Statistics have given an interesting insight into marriage in England and Wales in 2012.

The provisional figures show that:

  • In 2012, the number of marriages in England and Wales increased by 5.3% to 262,240, from 249,133 in 2011.
  • Civil ceremonies accounted for 70% of all marriages that took place in 2012, an increase from 66% in 2002.
  • The greatest number of marriages took place amongst men and women aged 25 to 29.
  • The mean age at marriage in 2012 was 36.5 years for men and 34.0 years for women. The mean age at marriage has increased by almost eight years for both men and women since 1972.
  • The largest percentage increase in the number of marriages between 2011 and 2012 was for men and women aged 65 to 69, rising by 25% and 21% respectively.

The figures also show that in 2012, 175,040 marriages in England and Wales were first marriages for both partners, which equates to 67% of all marriages. Remarriages for both parties accounted for 15% of all marriages in 2012.

The estimated percentage of marriages ending in divorce (assuming 2010 divorce and mortality rates throughout the duration of marriage) is 42%. Around half of these divorces are expected to occur in the first ten years of marriage.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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