Civil Partnerships Booming In UK

The number of civil partnerships in the UK has soared, provisional ONS figures found.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics showed that the numbers of people entering into civil partnerships last year rose by 6% from the figure the year before.

More than 50,000 civil partnership ceremonies have been performed since they became legal in 2005.

That means nearly five times as many gay and lesbian couples have made the commitment as was predicted.

Initial official estimates were than between 11,000 and 22,000 couples would enter into a civil partnership in the first five years.

The average age for entering a civil partnership is just over 40 for men and 38 for women.

In 2006, the first full year that civil partnerships were legal, more than 16,100 were formed.

Numbers dipped by 2009 when just 6,281 of the unions were formed, but rose slightly again last year.

The latest figures show 554 gay and lesbian couples got hitched last year in Scotland and 89 in Northern Ireland.

The most popular place outside London for a civil partnership was Brighton and Hove, which saw 222 ceremonies last year.

The number of dissolutions of civil partnerships is also rising, seven years after they first became legal.

The number granted in 2011 was 672, an increase of more than 28% over the previous year.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 allowed the UK's same-sex couples to register their relationships legally for the first time.


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