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167 opposite-sex civil partnerships made on the first day they were granted by law

Date:23 SEP 2020
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The Office of National Statistics have released figures around civil partnerships in England and Wales in 2019.  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.
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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.

Kanak Ghosh, Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, Office for National Statistics, says: “On 31st December 2019, civil partnerships were extended to opposite-sex couples after having historically been only for same-sex couples. On this day, 167 opposite-sex couples took the opportunity to register their partnerships. Meanwhile, just under 1,000 same-sex couples also chose to form a civil partnership during 2019, a small increase from the previous year. Around 1 in 5 of those forming same-sex partnerships in 2019 were over the age of 65, a noticeable increase since 2013 where it was only 1 in 25. Next year, we expect to see further increases to the overall number of civil partnerships in England and Wales as more opposite-sex couples choose to become civil partners.”