Divorce Rates In England & Wales Are Increasing

marriage wedding

The rate of divorce in England and Wales is increasing for the first time since 2009 according to new ONS data.

In 2016, the number of divorces among opposite-sex couples in England and Wales increased by 5.8% to 106,959, compared with 2015.

However, the Office of National Statistics found that this followed a large 9.1% fall in the number of divorces between 2014 and 2015.

This means that the divorce rate in 2016 remained 3.8% lower than in 2014 and 30% lower than the most recent peak in divorce numbers in 2003.

marriage ONS

In 2016, there were 112 divorces between same-sex couples in England and Wales, five times more than in the previous year, and 78% of these were between female couples.

In terms of the age at which opposite-sex couples were divorcing in 2016, the average age was 46.1 for men, and 43.7 for women.

The average age at divorce has increased year-on-year since 1985, rising by more than eight years for both men and women.

The ONS found that with regards to marriage length, the median duration in 2016 was 12 years, increasing slightly from 11.9 in 2015.

marriage ONS

There has been a very gradual increase in the median duration of marriages that end in divorce since 2009, when it was 11.4 years.

As for what percentage of marriages end in divorce, this has increased from the 1970s, with 42% of marriages now ending in divorce.

Check out the full report here.