Figures released by the Office for National Statistics have revealed another drop in the number of people getting married. A total of 239,990 couples married in England and Wales during 2008 which is a drop of 1% from the previous year. The figure is now at its lowest level since records began in 1862.
Is Marriage Going Out of Fashion?
While the first natural assumption may be that marriage is going out of fashion it can be argued that getting married has become a more serious commitment than used to be the case – and not simply a stepping-stone to adulthood. Given that it is now socially acceptable for people to live alone or co-habit it could be said that the institution of marriage is bearing-up quite well?
In our parent’s day it was considered the norm to marry young and there were obvious financial and social benefits for doing so – nowadays this is not so much the case.
Most Unmarried Parents Want to Marry
The Institute for the Study of Civil Society (Civitas) say that despite the drop in marriage rates their studies have shown that the majority of unmarried parents surveyed in 2007 actually wanted to marry.
They say that the main reason for unmarried parenthood today is that young people want certain things in place before tying the knot: the top three being a partner to whom they want to commit, financial stability and home ownership.
In these tough economic times it isn’t really surprising that most couples are thinking long and hard before planning to wed – and, overall, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. It will certainly be interesting to see how modern marriages succeed in the long term when compared to the rather disappointing statistics of today?