ONS Stats Reveal Decline of Divorce

The Office of National Statistics has released figures which reveal a falling divorce rate. The number of divorces in England and Wales rose unpredictably in 2010 but has since declined steadily according to the numbers released at the end of last year.

The number of divorces recorded fell from just over 117,500 in 2010 to narrowly above 115,500 in 2010. 42% of marriages are now expected to end in divorce based on figures for the number of marriages, divorces and deaths, marking a 3% decrease in the last 8 years.

However there was one notable increase recorded, with divorces for couples aged 50-59 in 2011 shown to have increased by 2.8% from 2010. Men entering their 7th decade were also found to divorce 43% more than they did 10 years, with nearly 9,500 people in this category getting divorced.

The greatest numbers of marriages occur amongst those between the ages of 40 and 44 though and especially amongst those married for between 5 and 9 years. The early 40s are thought to bring added financial and employment pressures and often the added responsibility of children can prove too much for marriages to take.

Whereas many would have predicted that the economic downturn would drive the divorce rate up due to the added financial pressures on couples, it in fact seems that marriages have stood up well to the credit crunch. This may be because couples could not afford to get divorce because of expensive legal fees or the diminishing worth of shared assets, or possibly even because couples tended to stick together in times of turmoil. The impact of economic recovery upon the divorce rate will therefore be intriguing.

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