The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the marriage rate for British heterosexual couples has reached the lowest level recorded.

In contrast to countries that have recently adopted pro-family policies, such as Hungary and Poland, the United Kingdom is continuing to see a dramatic fall in the marriage rate, with 2017 — the most recent available year — showing record lows.

Indeed, while the rate has dropped by 45 per cent since 1972 and halved since 1940, the average age for marriage reached a record high in 2017: 35.7 years old for women and 38 for men. Put another way, the total number of marriages in 2017 was at a level last seen in 1895 — the population of the United Kingdom having more than doubled in the intervening 125 years.

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According to the statistics for England and Wales released by the ONS, marriage rates for unmarried men slumped to 21.2 per 1,000 unmarried men and 19.5 per thousand for unmarried women, the lowest in recorded history. In total there were 242,842 marriages in England and Wales in 2017, a decrease of 2.8 per cent from the year before.

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