Relate responds to ONS marriage statistics

14 March 2017

Today (Tuesday 14 March 2017), The Office for National Statistics has released data on the numbers of marriages that took place in England and Wales in 2014.

In response to these findings, Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive at relationship support charity, Relate said:

“Today’s statistics show the changing nature of relationships in the UK. More people are choosing to cohabit and this will in part be contributing to the rising average age of marriage. Many couples now decide to pursue education, careers, have children or buy a house and then think about marrying a bit later on. It all depends on what your priorities are as a couple and is far less dependent on what’s expected by society – the British Social Attitudes survey shows most people see little difference between marriage and living together. At Relate, we know that the quality of a relationship is the most important thing, rather than relationship status.

“The increase in the number of marriages for over 65s is happening alongside an ongoing rise in divorces among older people. While some couples are entering retirement only to discover they no longer want to be together, many people are finding love again later on, and this could be a factor here.

“Relate very much welcomes the introduction of marriage between same sex couples and it’s great to see so many people choosing to commit to each other in this way.  It’s interesting that more women are marrying women than men are marrying men, but the most important thing is that everyone now has the choice to marry who they want to, if they want to.”

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