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ONS publishes results of consultation on marriage and divorce statistics

Released: 23 April 2014 Download PDF

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today published the findings from a consultation on user requirements for marriage, divorce and civil partnership statistics for England and Wales. With the introduction of marriage of same sex couples, ONS wanted to understand user requirements to ensure future statistical releases meet user needs.

Almost 2,000 users responded to the open consultation, and over 99% of respondents agreed that ONS should present marriage and divorce statistics by providing separate tables for both opposite sex and same sex couples.

The majority of responses were from individuals including members of the clergy, researchers, academics, life coaches and private individuals with an interest in marriage. Responses were also received from religion and faith groups, government departments and public bodies, members of research based organisations, educational groups, private businesses (for example marriage planners), and charities.

Given the demand for detailed data, ONS is proposing to change the way in which marriages, divorces and civil partnerships statistics are published from 2015 onwards. ONS plan to publish a selection of summary tables for each topic, these summary tables will provide a significant time series for comparison. Alongside these summary tables ONS plans to publish explorable datasets and anonymised microdata, both of which can be used to obtain more detailed statistics for a particular calendar year.

ONS would like to thank all those who responded to the consultation. Read the full report.

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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