With 262,240 marriages taking place in 2012 in the UK and a 5.3% rise in marriages on the previous year, it is clear that marriage has regained popularity and is on the rise. This is according to data collected from the Office for National Statistics. 2012 marks the highest level of marriages for a decade and is the biggest increase since that of the early 1970s. In comparison to statistics from just three years prior where marriage levels had reached a staggering low of 231,490 (the lowest since 1895), the numbers literally speak volumes about the rise in marriages. Alongside that, 70% of those that took place during 2012 were civil ceremonies and 30% religious marriages. 2012 showcased the largest rise in church weddings for more than 30 years, demonstrating an almost 5 percent increase year-on-year. According to these findings the traditional wedding is still very much popular. The buzz of the Royal Wedding of 2011 is without doubt a huge factor to consider in the increase of weddings taking place. The marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was one of 249,133 weddings that took place that year. It’s influence reflected in the ages of those getting married – with 25 to 29 year olds being the largest group of couples to wed during 2011; a trend which continued into 2012. The average age for a first marriage in 2012 was 36.5 for men and 34 for women – indicating a rise of eight years for both men and women since 1972. Of the 262,240 marriages that took place in 2012, 175,040 were first marriages (the split being 67% first marriage, 33% second marriage) – overall this indicated a 6% rise in the number of marriages being first marriages. The largest and most surprising increase came from those aged between 65 and 69, with the number of men rising from 2,805 to 3,520 in 2012 and 1,640 in 2011 to 1,990 in 2012 for women. The trend for marriages in later life is continuing to rise, and also more people are beginning a new life at an older age. Older couples have contributed massively to the rise in marriages over the past couple years.
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