Wedding rates fall to record low

Married people in the minority

The number of weddings is at a 100-year low and because of the recession we can expect a further decline.

Only one in 50 single women marries each year and only one in 43 single men. These are the lowest marriage rates since records began in 1862.

The figures, for England and Wales, released by the Office for National Statistics show that in 2007 there were only 231,450 marriages, down 3.3% on the previous year.

‘Our research shows that 705 of people actively want to get married with only a minute number believing that it is old fashioned. But either the cost of the wedding or the desire to be more financially secure, such as owning their own home, was making them put it off,’ said Anastasia de Waal, director of family and education at Civitas think tank.

With the average cost of a wedding reaching £20,000 you can see their point.

The average age at first marriage for women increased to 29.8 years in 2007 compared to 29.7 the year before with men increasing to 31.9 years from 31.8. In 1970 the average age of marriage for women was 20 and for men 24.

Church weddings are also down with just 77,490 religious weddings.

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