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5 facts about living arrangements and marital status in England and Wales

What does the 2011 Census tell us about changes to living arrangements and marital status?


1) How many married people (who were not separated) did not live together in 2011?

785,000 married people in households were not living together; this was 3.7% of the married household population. Possible explanations for this include: people living apart due to work or because one member of the couple was living in a care home.


2) How many married people were living with a partner other than their spouse?

Almost a fifth of people (145,000) who were married (not separated) but not living together in households were cohabiting with a different partner.


3) Has there been an increase in the cohabiting population?

Yes, and the rise in the cohabiting population is occurring more in the older age groups. Those aged 40 and over made up a larger proportion of the cohabiting population in 2011 (41%), up from 2001 (31%). Possible reasons include: the increasing number of divorced people and the social acceptability of cohabitation following divorce or instead of marriage.


4) Are there any areas with high numbers of people who have never been married?

This varies across England and Wales, but in Richmondshire (North Yorkshire) there were 2 men who had never been married for every never married woman in 2011. This is because there are several army bases in the area.


5) Which country in the UK had the highest divorced population?

Of the constituent UK countries, Wales had the highest proportion of its population divorced at 9.7%, whilst Northern Ireland had the lowest at 5.5%. 9.0% of England’s population were divorced and 8.2% of Scotland’s.

Categories: Population, Families, Marriages, Cohabitations, Civil Partnerships and Divorces, Cohabitations, Marriages, Divorces
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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