England

Civil partnership formations halved after same-sex marriage

Same sex wedding Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Same sex marriage has led to a decline in civil partnerships

The number of new civil partnerships in England and Wales has halved in a year according to official statistics.

There were 861 formed in 2015 compared with 1,683 the year before.

Civil partnerships have declined by 85% since 2013, a result of the introduction of marriage for same-sex couples in 2014.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said dissolutions of civil partnerships had risen as more couples swapped them for marriages.

The figures for 2015 showed two thirds (66%) of civil partnerships were between men.

And almost half (48%) of people forming a partnership were aged 50 and over.

Dissolved partnerships increased 14% on 2014 to 1,211.

'Likely to reduce'

Elizabeth McLaren of the ONS said: "Civil partnerships have fallen sharply since the introduction of marriages for same-sex couples in March 2014.

"On the other hand, civil partnership dissolutions have increased due to the rising number of civil partnerships that were formed since they were introduced in December 2005. Dissolutions are likely to reduce in the future as more same sex couples form marriages instead of civil partnerships."

London was the most popular place to form a civil partnership with 294 of the total. The figures also showed that in the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber and Wales more partnerships were formed between women than men.

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