• April 20, 2024
 Civil partnerships slightly increase in 2022 with a rise in opposite-sex unions, statistics reveal

Civil partnerships slightly increase in 2022 with a rise in opposite-sex unions, statistics reveal

The latest annual statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal a increase in the number of civil partnerships formed in England and Wales during 2022. A total of 6,879 partnerships were registered, marking a 2.2% rise from the previous year.

The data shows a significant preference for civil partnerships among opposite-sex couples, who accounted for 83.7% (5,760) of all formations in 2022, leaving same-sex couples with a 16.3% share (1,119). Within the same-sex category, male couples formed 58.2% of partnerships, while female couples made up 41.8%.

The age groups most likely to enter into civil partnerships varied significantly between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Among same-sex couples, the 25 to 34 years age group was the most common, representing 21.0% of partnerships. In contrast, for opposite-sex couples, the 55 to 64 years age group was the predominant demographic, accounting for 25.1% of registrations.

The statistics also highlight a stark difference in previous marital status between the two groups. Opposite-sex couples entering into a civil partnership were more than four times as likely to have been in a marriage or civil partnership before, with 21.2% fitting this category, compared to just 4.7% of same-sex couples.

Geographically, London and the South East were the most popular regions for civil partnership registrations, making up 22.9% and 20.4% of the total, respectively. This distribution likely reflects the overall population size and age structure across different regions of England and Wales.

The slight increase in civil partnerships in 2022, particularly among opposite-sex couples, suggests a growing recognition of civil partnerships as a valuable legal recognition of a relationship, distinct from marriage. Rachel Freeman, partner at Burgess Mee Family Law, commented:

“The increase in numbers, albeit small, of people either married or in a civil partnership is heartening, as these couples benefit from legal safeguards not available to couples who simply live together. The increase also indicates that the myth of common law marriage is slowly being dispelled, as people living together seek some form of legal status.

Civil partnerships remain more popular with opposite-sex couples than with same-sex couples. Some of those will be couples in long-term relationships who are opposed to marriage for ideological reasons but who still welcome the opportunity to enter into a legally binding commitment. Many will be people who were married before who want something different second time round. The same does not appear to be true of same-sex couples who seem still to be very much in the honeymoon period of marriage.”

Katie Johnson, Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Contact: katie.johnson@todaysmedia.co.uk


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