The Times Online is reporting that in Britain the marriage rates are at an all time low. The paper is reporting that, with the tax incentives for married couples taken away, many people are finding the single life to be more attractive.
That along with the recent high profile divorces of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, perhaps many people are afraid to take that commitment. The statistics mirror those in many developed countries with people staying single longer, post poning marriage, and having fewer children at a later age.
The paper reported, “The 2006 figures show that the marriage rate for men was 22.8 per 1,000, and for women 20.5 the lowest rate in 144 years. And the number of marriages fell by 4 per cent in 2006 to 236,980, compared with just over 244,000 the previous year. There has not been a year with fewer marriages in England and Wales since 1895.”
“The average age for marrying has gone up by about five years since 1991, and in 2006 the average age for a first marriage was 31.8 for men and 29.7 for women”
Does this spell the doom for marriage in developed western countries, like in the US? I don’t believe so. Marriages and divorce will always continue to happen, but what role that it plays in our society will be changed perhaps and adapted to conform to the modern sensibilities.