MEDIA STATEMENT FROM MARRIAGE FOUNDATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tide turns for marriage as latest figures show uptick in couples tying the knot
The latest ONS figures on families and household statistics for England & Wales show marriage rates are up after a long period of decline.
Among families with dependent children, 61.9 per cent were married in 2017, 2.4 per cent higher than the 2012 low, when 59.5 per cent were married.
Among all families, with or without children, 67.6 per cent were married in 2017, 1.0 per cent higher than the 2015 low, when 66.6 per cent were married.
Even the proportion of couples with children who are married has risen, for the first time, to 79.9 per cent of all couples with children, up from the 2015 low of 79.1 per cent.
Commenting on the ONS figures, Harry Benson, research director of Marriage Foundation, commented:
“For the last few years, it has been increasingly clear that the trend away from marriage has paused. Today’s statistics from ONS provide the very first evidence that the tide may even be on the turn.”
It may be a long way from a revival. Twenty years ago, 70 per cent of families with children and 90 per cent of couples with children were married. But it’s a start. The tide may be turning. Perhaps couples are slowly beginning to realise that reliable love begins with a formal commitment.
“Marriage was never old-fashioned. It goes with the grain of human nature.
“And not before time. Britain has the worst family stability of any country in the developed world, where nearly half of all our teens are not living with both natural parents.
“If we rediscover marriage as the foundation of stable happy life together, then we will be doing the next generation of children a massive favour.”
Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman and founder of Marriage Foundation, commented:
“Could it just be that that the relentless flow of statistical data over the last few years about the importance to children of stability, and the fact such stability is three times more likely to be found in the married population, is at last seeping into the national conscientiousness?
If so it is the greatest news for children, families and the country. Every one of us is a winner. I have always believed that if you tell people the truth about what makes the lives of themselves and their families better they will change their behaviour to get the benefit.”
Notes to editors:
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 reduce the numbers of people drawn into the family justice system â€“ 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 childâ€™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.