DEC 20 2012 / Relate’s response to Divorces in England and Wales, 2011, Office of National Statistics
The number of divorces in England and Wales in 2011 was 117,558, a decrease of 1.7% since 2010, when there were 119,589 divorces.
In 2011, 10.8 people divorced per thousand married population compared with 12.9 in 2001.
Almost half (49%) of couples divorcing in 2011 had at least one child aged under 16.
Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive, Relate, said:
“The decline in divorce statistics might not be a sign that relationships aren’t under strain as nearly half of Relate counsellors (47 per cent)*, are seeing an increase in couples having to live together because they simply can’t afford to break-up.
“Also these divorce figures capture only part of the picture. Recent Census data revealed that cohabiting couples have increased 30 per cent in the last ten years, a jump from 1.8 million in 2001 to 2.3 million in 2011**.
“We know family break-up is far too common: 79 per cent of under 1s live with both parents, this drops to 55 per cent by the time they reach 15***. Relationship breakdown already costs the UK economy £44 billion**** each year, not to mention the long-term personal and social costs.
“Relate knows that many break-ups can be avoided and that support can keep families together and thriving. Relate helps over 1 million people every year but it is clear that so many more could need help.”
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*Survey was conducted with 217 couples counsellors who were drawing on working with 14,000 clients and 48 family counsellors answered the family questions. (June 2012)
***DWP Oct 2012 Child living with both birth parents.
****Cost of Family Breakdown Index, Relationships Foundation
Notes to editors:
- Relate’s vision is a future in which healthy relationships are actively promoted as the heart of a thriving society
- Relate provides services via instant access live chat, email and phone
- Relate’s services extend beyond relationship counselling to family counselling, counselling for young people, online counselling, sex therapy and informal courses and workshops
- Relate sees 140,000 clients face to face each year and more than one million people through our media work, social media, online and phone channels
- Relate now offers instant live chat support for young people at our new website: www.irelate.org.uk
- Relate’s range of self-help books have sold almost 400,000 copies world-wide
- Relate has a work-force of 2,000 people nationwide centres and accessible across the country
- For more information and advice visit: www.relate.org.uk