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Marriage Foundation 'not surprised' by drop in number of marriages

by Alex Collett

The Marriage Foundation are 'not surprised' by reports from the Office of National Statistics, which shows a drop in the number of people tying the knot. 

Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation's Research Director said: "It shouldn't be a surprise that marriage rates are falling. 

"Hostile policy makers pretend marriage doesn't matter. 

"While public policy massively penalises low-income couples who marry. 

"Despite this, most young adults still want to marry and the evidence says that this is a good choice."

From their recent study, they analysed data from the UK Longitudinal Household Survey, Understanding Society.

They grouped parents into five socio-economic groups and compared the relative stability between married and unmarried couples in each category over five alternate one year periods.

The study traced data from 2009 to 2010, from 2011 to 2012, from 2013 to 2014, from 2015 to 2016, and from 2017 to 2018.

The study found that cohabiting parents were 3.4 times more likely to split up compared to married parents (6.5 per cent versus 1.9 per cent) and that this gap in stability runs across all five income quintiles.

Benson continued: "We also know from research that married families coped remarkably well during lockdown while unmarried cohabiting parents tended to fare worst. 

"The simple message is that marriage works and why we fully support the Law Commission's proposals to liberalise wedding rules might help lower costs. 

"After all, in our recent survey of young unmarried UK adults aged 18-30 nearly nine in 10 said they would be more likely to get married, and just under a third (29 per cent) would tie the knot if the 'typical' wedding was cheaper." 

"But when almost all government ministers think marriage is important in their private life, why do we have the most anti-marriage public policy in Europe?"

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