The latest divorce statistics for the UK
Divorce is on the decrease according to statistics released by the Office For National Statistics for 2011.
In 2011 the number of divorces in England and Wales decreased by 1.7% to 117,558 compared with 119,589 in 2010. This continues the ongoing decline in divorces since 2003 when there were 153,065 divorces recorded by both the Office For National Statistics and the Ministry of Justice Fam man system.
The decline in the number of filed divorces is consistent with a fall in the number of people getting married to 2009.
The fall in marriages to 2009 is more than likely due to the increasing number of couples choosing to cohabit rather than get married.
The graph shows the changes in the number of divorces since 1931, as well as changes in the number of people getting married.
The number of divorces continued to rise between 1931 and 1990 as a result of changes in behavior and attitudes in society in general. However since the start of the "great recession" in 2008 the number of divorces recorded has declined dramatically.
Research in the United States, published in the book "’Til recession do us part: booms, busts and divorce in the United States" seems to conclude that, based on data for 45 states over the sample period of 1978–2009, it is shown that the higher the level of transitory income, the higher the incidence of divorce. In other words, divorce is pro-cyclical and follows the boom and bust cycles of wester economic cycles. The theory therefore suggests that as western economies move into a growth period, the divorce rate will pick up again.
Divorce rates in percentages
In 2011, 10.8 people divorced per thousand married population, compared with 12.9 in 2001. Similar
decreases in the male and female divorce rates have also taken place since 2001 (Figure 2). The
male divorce rate decreased to 10.8 divorces per thousand married males, down from 13.0 in 2001.
The female divorce rate reached 10.8 divorces per thousand married females, down from 12.9 in
Age of couple when getting a divorce in 2011
At younger ages there were more women than men divorcing; however, in older age groups more men than women divorced. This pattern
reflects the differences seen in age at marriage of men and women (the provisional average age for
men marrying in 2010 was 36.2 years compared with 33.6 for women). In 2011, the number of
divorces was highest among men and women aged 40 to 44.