Demographic Analysis Unit
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 447890
Frequency of release: Annually
Geographical coverage: England and Wales
Geographical breakdown: Country
Of the 44.9 million adults usually resident in England & Wales in mid-2010, 48.2 per cent were married, 35.6 per cent were single, 9.3 per cent were divorced and 7.0 per cent were widowed.
Changes in the population by marital status in the year to mid-2010 continue the long term trends seen since mid-1971; the proportions of the adult population who are married and widowed continue to decline and the proportions who are single and divorced continue to rise.
The proportion of adult females who are widowed has decreased around twice as much as the proportion of adult males who are widowed between mid-1971 and mid-2010.
In the year to mid-2010, estimates of the number of people marrying abroad (both non-residents marrying in England & Wales and residents marrying abroad) increased the married population of England & Wales by 74,000.
Following the consultation surrounding the Population Estimates by Marital Status and Living Arrangements, the ONS has published 'Population Estimates by Marital Status and Living Arrangements - England and Wales, 2002 to 2014' on 8 July 2015.
The mid-year population estimates by legal marital status provide estimates of the population who are single, married, widowed and divorced. They refer to the usually resident population in England & Wales as a whole on 30 June of the reference year and are published by sex and single year of age. This product is the official set of population estimates by marital status for England & Wales, published annually.
The estimates are based on Census data, updated each year using the cohort component method with a combination of registration and survey data sources. Population estimates by marital status have a number of uses, both direct and indirect, informing policy decisions at a national level.
Marital Status Population Estimates - Mid-1991 to Mid-2001 (123.1 Kb ZIP)
Marital Status Population Estimates - Mid-1986 (80 Kb ZIP)
Marital Status Population Estimates - Mid-1971 to Mid-1981 (119.4 Kb ZIP)
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.