Civil Partnerships latest statistics in England and Wales

The Office of National Statistics publishes the latest annual statistics on formations and dissolutions of civil partnerships in England and Wales.

It’s fast approaching a year since civil partnerships were extended to opposite-sex couples on 2nd December 2019 after having historically been only for same-sex couples,

The judgement allowed opposite-sex couples to form a civil partnership, extending the protection offered to same sex civil partnerships regarding various rights and benefits, such as parental rights and financial entitlements.

As couples are required to give a minimum of 28-days notice of a civil partnership, the first ones took place from 31st December 2019.

Here is a snapshot of the statistics:

  • There were 167 opposite-sex civil partnerships formed in England and Wales on 31 December 2019; this was the first day it was possible to do so following the change in legislation to extend civil partnerships rights to opposite-sex couples.
  • There were 994 same-sex civil partnerships formed in England and Wales in 2019; this was an increase of 4.0% from 956 in 2018 and an increase of 9.5% from 908 in 2017.
    Latest Statistics on Civil Partnerships
  • The majority (61%) of same-sex civil partnerships in England and Wales in 2019 were between men, a lower proportion compared with the previous year (65%).
  • Nearly in one in five (19%) of those entering a same-sex civil partnership in 2019 were aged 65 years and over; this compares with just 4.0% in 2013, prior to the introduction of marriages of same-sex couples.
  • About three-quarters (72%) of same-sex civil partnerships formed in England and Wales in 2019 were to couples where both partners were single (that is, never previously entered into a marriage or civil partnership); this percentage has remained broadly consistent since the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships in 2005.
  • There were 916 same-sex civil partnerships dissolutions granted in England and Wales in 2019, a small decrease of 1.2% from 927 in 2018; of these, 54% were to female couples.

Civil Partnerships award essentially the same rights to couples as Marriage does. There are a few notable differences between Civil Partnerships and Marriage:

  • Civil Partnerships cannot be formed in a religious ceremony on a religious premise
  • Marriage is formed by vows; Civil Partnerships are formed by signing of the Civil Partnership document
  • Only the father’s name features on the marriage certificate where as both parent’s names appear on the civil partnership document
  • Marriages are ended by divorce and Civil Partnerships by dissolution although the procedure is fundamentally the same
  • A Civil Partnership is not voidable on the basis of non-consummation (nor does it make a same sex marriage voidable)
  • Adultery is only a ground for dissolution (or divorce) if it is committed with a person of the opposite sex

More details on the statistics here.

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