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Fall in divorce rates
Date:4 SEP 2006

Divorce rates in England and Wales among men and women aged under 40 have fallen by 13 and 12 per cent respectively since 2004, according to first statistics on divorce in 2005 released in September 2006 by the Office for National Statistics. For men aged under 40, the divorce rate of 24.9 divorcing men per 1,000 married men aged 16 to 39 in 2005 is the lowest since 1988. For women aged under 40, the 2005 divorce rate of 24.7 per 1,000 married women aged 16 to 39 was last at a similar level in 1990 (24.4). However, for the fourth consecutive year both men and women in their late twenties had the highest divorce rates of all 5-year age groups. In 2005, there were 27.1 divorces per 1,000 married men aged 25-29 and 28.0 divorces per 1,000 married women aged 25-29. Overall, the provisional divorce rate in England and Wales fell by 8 per cent to 13.0 divorcing people per 1,000 married population in 2005 compared with 14.1 in 2004. For both men and women aged 40 and over, the divorce rate fell slightly in 2005: for men the divorce rate was 9.7 divorcing men per 1,000 married men aged 40 and over, compared with 10.1 in 2004, for women the divorce rate was 8.7 divorcing women per 1,000 married women aged 40 and over, compared with 8.9 in 2004. This ends a 7-year rise in divorce rates to the 40 and over age group that began between 1997 and 1998. The number of divorces in England and Wales fell by 8 per cent in 2005 to 141,750, compared with 153,399 in 2004. This is the second consecutive year that divorces have fallen and is the lowest number since 2000 when there were 141,135 divorces. The number of divorces peaked in 2003 when there were 153,490. See October [2006] Fam Law for the full news article.

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