Less Young People Are Getting Married Than Ever Before

And other pro-single news. Including that Islington in London, is reportedly the best place in the country to be unattached...

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by Rebecca Holman |

So, news just in, young people in Britain are less likely to get married than ever before. According to new data released by the Office of National Statistics, 35 per cent of the population, or 15.7 million of us, were unmarried in 2011, when the last census was done - which means more of us staying single for longer than ever before.

The data even revealed where the best places to be single in the UK are. Islington in London comes out on top - 60 per cent of its adult population has never married. Meanwhile, if you’re sick of the lack of eligible single men in your hood, head over to Richmondshire in North Yorkshire where there are 21 single men to every 10 single women.

The data also showed that the single population has aged - those who are getting married are waiting for longer than ever before to get married.

But why have we stopped pairing up and settling down? ‘We know that fewer people are getting married compared with 30 years ago,’ said Penny Mansfield from research charity OnePlusOne. ‘Now they are more likely to be going into education, working or living with their parents as a knock-on effect of the housing market.’

We get this (how are we even suppose to think about settling down when our last big purchase was a posh M&S sandwich as a payday lunch treat?) - but don’t forget the focus here is on couples who are married. No word on how many of us are cohabiting.

So is the issue here really that less of us are settling down? Possibly not. Maybe we’re still meeting people, falling in love and moving in together, but it’s the marriage bit that’s turning us off. And why wouldn’t it? The traditional taboos around living together before marriage and having children rarely apply anymore, and with the average wedding costing around £20,000, that’s a helluva expensive party. Plus don’t forget, marriage was until recently primarily a religious ceremony, yet the same 2011 census tells us that those under 25 are more likely to have no religious belief than any other age group.

And frankly, if you have no religious, social or family pressures to get hitched, and you can’t really afford it, why would you? 'Marriage just doesn't mean that much to me and never has, my partner Dan feels the same,' Giselle Wainwright, 27, tells The Debrief. 'The financial aspect is an issue - we could take a year off and go travelling for the cost of the average wedding - but also, we live together and have done for five years, so we're already living like a married couple. There's no need to sign a piece of paper simply to make what we already have 'official'. I have no desire to stand up in front of a lot of people and declare my love for Dan. He knows how I feel, I know how he feels and that's really all that matters.'

Does she feel pressure? 'Yes, from family and friends who constantly ask when we'll get hitched, but if anything it puts me off the whole idea even more. Our relationship is about us and not pleasing anyone else.' Fair point.

Follow Rebecca on Twitter @rebecca_hol

Picture: Li Hui

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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