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Civil Partnerships

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Civil Partnership and Same-Sex Marriage

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that 861 civil partnerships were formed in England and Wales in 2015, which is a fall of 49% from 1,683 in 2014.

Civil partnership formations have apparently declined by 85% since 2013. According to the ONS, this is mainly due to the introduction of same-sex marriage in March 2014.

The figures also show that:

  • Two-thirds (66%) of civil partnerships formed in 2015 were between men – the highest proportion since civil partnership formations were introduced in 2005.
  • Nearly half (48%) of all civil partners forming a partnership in 2015 were aged 50 and over; this compares with 19% in 2013 prior to the introduction of marriages of same sex couples.
  • There were 1,211 civil partnership dissolutions granted in 2015, a 14% increase compared with 2014.

"Civil partnerships have fallen sharply since the introduction of marriages for same-sex couples in March 2014,” commented an ONS spokesperson. “On the other hand, civil partnership dissolutions have increased due to the rising number of civil partnerships that were formed since they were introduced in December 2005. Dissolutions are likely to reduce in the future as more same-sex couples form marriages instead of civil partnerships."

In Scotland, figures released earlier in the year from National Records of Scotland showed that there were 29,691 marriages in 2015. Of these, 1,671 were same-sex marriages following The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 coming into force on 16th December 2014.

The majority of same-sex marriages were couples who changed their existing civil partnerships to marriage – 936, or 56%. There were only 64 civil partnerships – 33 male couples and 31 female couples.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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