Institute for the Study of Civil Society, an independent think tank, has released an interesting report on the current state of marriage as an institution and as a social phenomena as part of its Marriage in Modern Britain -project. The report quotes some of Marriage Foundation’s original research.
Marriage: A review of the documented state of the union in England looks at the history of marriage to demonstrate how despite evolving and undergoing legislative and cultural changes over time support for the institution as the ultimate form of commitment does not seem to be waning. However, the report points out that there is a considerable disparity between marital aspirations and actual marriage rates. While most people still aspire to marry the demographic trends indicate that marriage has become less accessible for some and we need to be careful to differentiate between who wants to get married and who is able to marry. Marriage Foundation’s research has previously referred to this as the marriage gap between the rich and the poor.
The report asks if there is a future for marriage. While divorce statistics may sound gloomy, divorce rates show that those who are marrying are more likely to stay together today than 10, 20 or even 30 years ago and marriage is still as recognisable today as it was 40 years ago as the ultimate expression of love and companionship.