Rise in civil partnerships for first time since same-sex marriage introduced

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Civil partnerships rose last year for the first time since same-sex marriage was introduced, new figures show.

Some 890 new partnerships were recorded in 2016 in England and Wales, up from 861 in 2015, a rise of 3%.

More than two thirds of the partnerships (68%) were between male same-sex couples.

Civil partnerships in England and Wales graphic
(PA Graphics)

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), also show that civil partnerships are becoming increasingly popular among older couples.

Roughly one in five new partnerships (19%) were between couples who were 65 or older, compared with just one in 25 (4%) in 2013.

Nicola Haines of the ONS said: "Following legislative change enabling marriages of same-sex couples from March 2014, civil partnership formations declined as the majority of same-sex couples opted for marriage instead.

"However, 2016 represents the first increase in civil partnership formations since this change, showing that a minority of same-sex couples still prefer this option to marriage.

"Interestingly, male couples accounted for 68% of all civil partnerships in 2016. However, our latest marriage statistics show that male couples accounted for only 44% of all marriages formed between same sex-couples in 2014."

Civil partnerships became available to couples in England and Wales on December 21 2005.

68% of civil partnerships formed in England and Wales in 2016 were between men - the highest proportion ever https://t.co/C6fjjjbnIP

-- ONS (@ONS) September 26, 2017

The following year saw a total of 14,943 partnerships recorded - more than 16 times greater than the number in 2016.

Marriages of same-sex couples became legal in England and Wales on March 29 2014.