The numbers of weddings taking place in England and Wales fell by 10 per cent in 2005 Marriage has slumped to its lowest level since records were first kept more than 150 years ago, official figures have revealed. The proportion of couples tying the knot has fallen back into line with its declining long-term trend following a clampdown on sham weddings. The popularity of marriage has been waning since 1973, but in recent years it has been artificially boosted by such bogus unions. In London alone, new rules which make it harder to use marriage to win the right to stay in Britain cut the number of ceremonies by more than a third. But the report from the Office for National Statistics said the crackdown was responsible for only some of the steep decline. It said the long-term fall in the popularity of marriage was continuing, with millions of couples choosing instead to live together and delay having a family. The figures, which cover 2005, the same year the new rules were brought in, show the number of weddings in England and Wales dropped by more than 28,000, from 273,070 to 244,710. The fall […]

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