Cohabitation and marriage in England and Wales

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Rebecca Probert University of Warwick, UK

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Over the last 50 years, marriage in England and Wales has shifted from near-universality to being merely one option. A ‘marriage divide’ has emerged, with the likelihood of marriage being affected by education and income. While few of those marrying cite economic or legal factors as a motivation, the perceived need to attain a certain level of financial security may delay marriage for others, and minor financial incentives such as transferable tax allowances are unlikely to alter this. This article looks at the evidence of the marriage divide and considers whether government policies have the potential to influence people’s decision as to whether or not to marry.

Rebecca Probert University of Warwick, UK

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Families, Relationships and Societies
An international journal of research and debate