The number of people getting married is now at the lowest rate since records began in the 19th century. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics there were 232,990 weddings in England and Wales in 2008, 35,000 less than ten years ago. Figures also show that people who decide to get married are leaving it much later. The average age of marriage has now increased to 36.5 for men and 33.8 for women. Fewer than two thirds of weddings are now the first marriage for both partners with more than one in six ceremonies involving people who have been divorced or widowed. Figures have also suggested that more people are choosing to raise children outside of marriage.
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