Figures released by the UK Office for National Statistics this week reveal that the number of civil partnerships entered into in the UK during 2011 was up 6.4 per cent to a total of 6,795.
This figures also show that the average age for men entering a civil partnership was 40 years, whilst women were slightly younger with an average of 38. There were 672 dissolutions in 2011 indicating an approximate separation rate of just 10 per cent. However to put these numbers in perspective, during 2010 there were 120,000 heterosexual divorces and 241,000 new marriages.
The most popular areas for civil partnerships were unsurprisingly, capital city London and the Sussex seaside city of Brighton as both have high lesbian and gay population.
“We’re delighted that civil partnerships have proved to be so popular, both with same-sex couples and in wider society. YouGov polling for Stonewall shows four in five people across Britain support civil partnerships, and seven in ten support equal marriage.” Stonewall Director of Public Affairs Ruth Hun said, adding, “This modest step towards full equality needn’t take much parliamentary time. It’s time for the government to get on with it.”
The civil partnership was introduced in 2005 and at the time the government estimated that between 11,000 and 22,000 people would have entered into a civil partnership by the end 2010. However the actual figure has been so much higher and so far the total number of has reached a whopping 106,834.
The economic boost civil partnerships have had to the marriage hospitality and facilitation industry is impossible to quantify with any degree of accuracy but is estimated to be in the millions. With a real possibility of legalising same sex marriages, that amount is likely to increase. Another positive advertisement to other nations and other governments around the world of the wonderful benefit of marriage equality.