From swiping through Tinder to meeting people through social media sites, it’s not hard to see how dramatically dating (and romance) has changed over the years.
However, there’s now even more proof that, when it comes to the goals we have for our relationships – they’re changing further.
Marriages Aren’t as Popular
According to the official marriage statistics for England and Wales, we’re at an all-time low when it comes to opposite-sex marriages.
Granted, many of us will welcome this news with open arms as it means there won’t be an influx of wedding invites coming through the letterbox anytime soon.
While each handcrafted or carefully printed card is meant to signify unrequited love and never-ending happiness, for many, they’re more about how much money we’ve got to fork out on new gifts, how we’ll need to speak to that drunken idiot who always tries it on with us and how everyone will take joy in reminding us how single we still are.
The Office for National Statistics has revealed that there was a 3.4% drop in the number of opposite-sex marriages from 2014 to 2015. This means they’re the lowest they’ve ever been since the start of the 70s when the long-term decline began.
Younger People Aren’t Walking Down the Aisle as Quickly
Understandably, if you’re hoping to plan your own wedding in the not too distant future, these figures might not be the best news.
However, it seems that it’s the younger generation (those under 20) that are witnessing the sharpest decline in opposite-sex marriages. Since 2005, there’s been a 66% decline for women and 56% for men.
This, therefore, means that the average age for people getting married has gone up, but it has been rising ever since the 70s. Now, men tend to be 37.5 years old and women 35 years old.
That said, we do need to take into account that 2015 was the first full year same-sex marriages were allowed, and they represented 2.6% of the total.
Why Aren’t People Getting Married?
There could be a whole host of reasons why younger people aren’t wanting to get married. From higher rates of divorce (perhaps seeing their parents split up) to the freedom to be a couple and do what they want without getting married, there are many modern aspects in society that are changing the way people think.
Plus, there are the scary costs involved in hosting a wedding. Costing, on average, £27,000, it’s an eye-watering figure for anyone – regardless of how much money you’ve saved up. It’s a decent deposit on a house, a year’s travelling – and so on.
Ultimately, it’s not that millennials don’t want to take those vows but that they’re willing to wait longer to do so. With different priorities (buying a house, getting a good job, having kids, travelling etc.), marriage doesn’t always fit into people’s life plan where it once did.
So if you’re in your twenties, you might be able to save up for that ring and all those stag/hen dos for a little bit longer yet.