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Author Topic: Marriage on the rocks in Britain  (Read 836 times)


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Marriage on the rocks in Britain
« on: Oct 01, 2005, 04:53:34 PM »
Some would write this headline as "British Males Finally Wise Up".

Marriage on the rocks in Britain
Sep 30 1:19 PM US/Eastern

Marriage is on the rocks in Britain, with the proportion of unmarried people set to exceed that of married people within 25 years as more men and women opt to live together without constraints, according to government statistics published this week.

The proportion of married men is expected to fall from 53 percent in 2003 to 42 percent in 2031, while the percentage of married women will decline from 50 percent to 40 percent, Britain's Office for National Statistics predicted Thursday.

The "Population Trends" report predicted on the other hand that the number of unmarried couples living together will almost double from two million in 2003 to 3.8 million in 2031.

The projections are based on the recent steep fall in marriage rates for people aged under 30. As the older generation dies, a new generation of people who prefer living together to marriage will take their place.

As a result, people living with a partner will also tend to be older.

The office predicts 41 percent of cohabiting men will be aged over 45 in 2031, up from 21 percent in 2031. The proportion of women over 45 living with a partner is expected to double to 36 percent from 18 percent.

Further, more people will choose never to marry at all. By 2031 almost half of all adult men in the country will have never married, compared with 35 percent two years ago, the ONS said.

The proportion of never-married women is expected to rise to 39 percent from 28 percent in 2003.

The point at which unwed adults outnumber the married could also be affected by divorce rates. While divorce rates are expected to drop among the 35 to 44 age group due to a smaller pool of married people, divorce rates will rise slowly in many age groups and sharply among the elderly.

The proportion of divorced men and women aged over 65 is expected to more than double by 2031, the ONS said.

The office predicts never-married people will outnumber married people by about 650,000 by 2031 when the number of Britons aged 16 years or older will hit 48 million.


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