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Rise in Cohabitation

Family structures have changed dramatically over the past 40 years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that whilst the married couple family remains the most common type of family in the UK, the cohabiting couple family is the fastest growing category. Between 2004 and 2014 the numbers of cohabiting families grew by almost 30%.

The rise in cohabitation has been coupled with a steady fall in divorce rates. The most recent ONS figures have shown that there were 114,720 divorces in England and Wales in 2013. This was a decrease of almost 3% compared to the previous year.

The ONS directly related the fall in divorce rates to the rise in couples deciding to cohabit rather than marry.

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