Despite the availability of marriage for same sex couples, surprising numbers are continuing to enter civil partnerships, new figures reveal.

Last year 956 couples entered civil partnerships, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed: an increase of over five per cent in a single year and the third annual increase in a row. This unexpected increase followed a significant drop between 2013 and 2015 when same sex marriage was first introduced.

A full 65 per cent of the new civil partnerships formed in 2018 were between male couples. Female couples doing so were a little older on average (51.6 years) than their male counterparts (50.5 years). Remarkably, a full 21 per cent of new civil partners last year were aged over 65: a huge increase since 2013, before the introduction of same sex marriage, when only four per cent of those entering civil partnerships were over 65.

Almost a third of all the new civil partnerships in 2018 were formed in London.

Meanwhile, civil partnership dissolutions – the equivalent of divorce – have fallen. In 2018 927 took place, a steep decrease of 24 per cent since the previous year.

Read the full statistics here.

Image by Yi Wang via Flickr (Creative Commons)