Is Marriage On The Way Out?

Fewer middle class couples are getting married than ever before

A new study claims that only three in five middle-class couples are choosing to tie the knot these days.

Back in 1994, 84 per cent of middle-income families with young children were married compared to 59 per cent in 2012.

As a rule, the richer you are the more likely you are to be married, with middle-class couples traditionally preferring to put a ring on it than those from a lower socio-economic background.

In fact, the differences between the classes when it comes to marriage are quite stark.

When it comes to mothers with children under the age of five, 87 per cent of those earning £43,000 or more were married. That’s compared to families with an income of £14,000 or under – just 24 per cent of those women are married.

The data comes from the Government’s Family Resources Survey and has some pro-marriage groups worried.

“Our research shows a concerning spread in the collapse of marriage among the lowest earners to middle earners over recent years,” claims Harry Benson, research director for the Marriage Foundation.

“When a socio-economic group turns away from marriage, we see a corresponding hike in the rates of family breakdown.”

It’s not a massive shock that more and more people are eschewing traditional marriages in favour of cohabitation. According to a survey by You & Your Wedding, the average wedding coast £20,983 in 2014.

Add that to the fact that 42 per cent of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce, is it any wonder the middle-classes are avoiding that long walk down the aisle?

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