Reports that the number of marriages in 2012 increased by 5% over the previous year, reversing a long – term trend, received widespread press commentary, especially on the marked increase in marriages for the oldest age groups.
The Office for National Statistics has released this summary of 9 key facts about this increase, some of which should prompt serious reflection by the churches:
- There was one marriage every two minutes in 2012.
- There was an increase in marriages in 2012, with 262,2401 taking place. This was a 5.3% increase from 2011 when there were 249,133.
- Civil ceremonies accounted for 70% of all marriages in 2012. The proportion of marriages that were civil ceremonies first exceeded religious ceremonies in 1976.
- 60% (156,480) of marriages took place in approved premises such as hotels, stately homes and historic buildings.
- 67% (175,0401) of all marriages were first marriages for both partners
- 15% of all marriages (38,320) were remarriages for both parties and 19% (48,8801) were to couples where only one partner had been married previously
- The greatest number of marriages were for men and women aged 25 to 29.
- The mean age at marriage was 36.5 years for men and 34.0 years for women.
- The largest percentage increase in the number of marriages was for men and women aged 65 to 69, rising by 25% and 21% respectively.
- Marriage ‘back in fashion’ (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Never too old for love! Over-65s lead the way as marriages increase (express.co.uk)
- It’s never too late to say ‘I do’: why the over-65s have fallen for marriage (theguardian.com)