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... UK marriage in decline UK marriage in decline

27 March 2008

Marriage rates in England and Wales have plummeted to an all-time low, new research out today reveals.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that 22.8 men per 1,000 single men in the country tied the knot, compared to 24.5 in 2005.

For women, this number went down from 21.9 in 2005 to 20.5 in 2006, the figures showed.

These results were the lowest yearly rate of marriage since records began in 1862.

Commenting on the figures, Jill Kirby, director of think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, said that Labour was to blame for the fall in marriage rates.

She said that the decline of marriage was also detrimental to society as a whole.

Commenting on the research showing that more people are cohabiting and for longer, she added: "A clear reason for concern is that research demonstrates how important marriage is to maintain stability for children..

"The break-up of cohabiting couples is much higher than married couples. Cohabitation is clearly not a satisfactory arrangement as far as children are concerned."

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