Divorce rates fall to lowest level in 30 years

Responding to the latest ONS data on divorce rates, which show a 59 per cent decrease in divorce in the first three years of

Responding to the latest ONS data on divorce rates, which show a 59 per cent decrease in divorce in the first three years of marriage from their peak in 1993, Harry Benson, research director of Marriage Foundation commented:

“It is excellent news that marriages today are more stable than at any time since the 1970s.

“Our concerns should focus on the growing number of people who do not marry before having children. While the odds of staying together are improving dramatically among those who marry, the odds of splitting up remains alarmingly high among those who don’t.

“Of parents who remain intact until their child’s fifteenth birthday, 93 per cent are married. Non-married relationships that last the course are great, but they are sadly fleetingly rare.

“The commitment required to get married works in keeping couples together during the rough times that occur in any relationship.

“Marriage is the single most effective antidote to family breakdown.

“If you want reliable love, marriage is by far the best way to achieve it.”




Notes to editors

The ONS stats can be found on the ONS website:


For media inquiries please contact Beatrice Timpson on 07803 726 977.

Harry Benson is available to be interviewed, on 07515 699187.

The Marriage Foundation was founded by Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court Judge, moved by his personal experience in 40 years as a barrister and judge specialising in family law. The Foundation seeks to improve public understanding of marriage to reduce the numbers of people drawn into the family justice system – some 500,000 children and adults each year.


The Foundation has highlighted the crisis of family breakdown. Their research has found that a child born today only has a 50 per cent chance of living with both parents by the time they reach fifteen.


Foundation research has also found that 93 percent of parents who stay together until their child’s fifteenth birthday are married.

A source of statistics on marriage, cohabitation, commitment, divorce and family breakdown can be found on the Marriage Foundation website.




The Marriage Foundation is registered as a charity in  England and Wales.

Registered charity number: 1150453

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