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Longevity of marriage edges past cohabiting

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Married couples are more likely to share a future together when compared to those cohabiting, official figures have revealed.

Analysis of Census results compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that four-fifths of spouses married in 1991 were still together a decade later, compared to three-fifths of cohabiting partners.

The ONS claims that those individuals who are capable and want to be in a long-term relationship, are more likely to marry rather than cohabit. While those who are not inclined to stay in long-term relationships, prefer to avoid a trip down the aisle.

Studying over 300,000 adults, ONS researchers tracked answers from both the 1991 and 2001 Census, discovering that 39% of cohabiting couples were no longer together and those that survived were now married.

“It shows that marriage was more stable than cohabitation, even when controlling for a variety of factors,” an ONS spokesperson said.

The benefits of marriage have become hotly contested in recent years, with laws beginning to reflect the modern, much less stereotypical, views of family life and provisions for cohabiting couples frequently debated around Whitehall.

But with marriage rates already at their lowest level since records began in 1862, as just 232,990 weddings took place in England and Wales during 2008, couples should assess which is the most suitable path for them, discussing the options for separation if that bridge needs crossing.


Written by Andrew Hodges

April 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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