There is no point getting married – its only a piece of paper

I always feel disheartened when the latest survey is published about attitudes towards marriage.  Today, the National Statistics Office published their Annual Social Trends survey which, as always, reveals that the number of marriages has been declining each year since 1972 whilst the number of partners cohabiting has increased.  In 2006, there were 237,000 marriages in England and Wales, the lowest number since 1895.
I personally think marriage is a wonderful thing and hate seeing these clinical true or false statements posed in a typical Statistics Office Survey below.
It is disappointing to read that two thirds (66%) of people in Great Britain think that there is little difference between being married and living together, but encouraging to read that more than half (56%) think it is still the best kind of relationship.  I guess what it boils down to is a lack of desire for the more old fashioned reasons for marriage – Love, romance, committment and honour.
Source : British Social Attitudes Survey : Office for National Statistics
Source : British Social Attitudes Survey : Office for National Statistics

The survey also revealed that the average age to wed for the first time in the UK was nearly 30 for women in 2006 and about 32 for men.  This is about two years later in life than a decade earlier.  This was about the age that I married and I guess many others like me feel the need to secure a roof over our heads before saving for a marriage.  In the end, we chose a cheap budget registry office wedding which makes me half regret not getting married much sooner.  Unfortunately, it is all to easy to think about the practicalities of marriage rather than the true reasons because I would’nt have swapped our wedding day for all the savings in the world.

For more depressing news on marriage and divorce statistics, not to mention our obsession with house ownership and overfeeding our children you can download the full 252 page report from the National Office of Statistics website.  Better still, forget that and buck the trend by telling us all the lovely reasons you are getting married in the comments below.

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