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Marriage rate for opposite-sex couples in 2015 lowest on record

Marriages between opposite-sex couples decreased by 3.4% in 2015

The ONS has published marriage figures for the year 2015.

The data show that there were 239,020 marriages between opposite-sex couples in 2015, a decrease of 3.4% from 2014 when there 247,372 marriages, and 0.8% lower than in 2013.

Marriage rates for opposite-sex couples in 2015 were the lowest on record, with 21.7 marriages per thousand unmarried men and 19.8 marriages per thousand unmarried women.

In 2015 there were 6,493 marriages between same-sex couples, 56% were between female couples; a further 9,156 same-sex couples converted their civil partnership into a marriage.

During the year civil ceremonies among opposite-sex couples decreased by 1.6%, while religious ceremonies decreased by 8.0% compared with 2014.

Nicola Haines, ONS Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, said:

"Marriage rates for opposite-sex couples are now at their lowest level on record following a gradual long-term decline since the early 1970s. The number of marriages between opposite-sex couples decreased by 3.4% in 2015, compared with 2014.

"Despite this overall decline, marriages at older ages rose; the number of weddings increased for men aged 50 and over and women aged 35 to 39 years and 45 and over.

"This is the first full year for which marriages were available for same-sex couples and they accounted for 2.6% of all marriages."

For the full statistics, click here.