Govt must tackle ‘national emergency’ of falling marriage numbers

The Government must ensure it encourages couples to commit to life-long marriages together as wedding numbers continue to decline, a pro-marriage group has said.

Coalition for Marriage (C4M) highlighted that, due to coronavirus restrictions, the number of weddings in 2020 fell to its lowest since records began. While expecting a “rebound” in the figures after the pandemic, C4M warned that the “long-term trend remains alarming”.

It stated: “This is a national emergency all of its own. Life-long marriage between a man and a woman is the stabilising bedrock of a successful society.”


In 2020, there were only 82,959 marriages between a man and woman in England and Wales, 61 per cent lower than 2019 and the lowest since records began in July 1837.

In addition, divorce rates outnumbered marriage rates between couples for the first time on record. There were 7.2 marriages per 1,000 unmarried men and 6.7 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women, in contrast to 8.4 divorces per 1,000 married men and 1,000 married women.

During the previous 30 years, from 1989 to 2019, the number of marriages decreased by 39 per cent.


Earlier this month, a Conservative MP said that marriage between one man and one woman is the key to a successful society.

Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference, Danny Kruger MP backed fellow MPs’ calls for the Government to do more to recognise the institution of the family.

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