The number of Catholic weddings in England and Wales has fallen dramatically in the last 25 years, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics have been recorded, there were 7,001 Catholic weddings, according to the Daily Mail – less than a third of the figure for 1990.
The decline is even steeper than for Church of England weddings, which have also fallen rapidly.
The decline mirrors the overall trend in the proportion of weddings which are religious ceremonies: the proportion has nearly halved from 50 per cent in 1980 to 26 per cent in 2015.
Meanwhile, the number of marriages continues to decline. Nicola Haines of the ONS said: “Marriage rates for opposite-sex couples are now at their lowest level on record following a gradual long-term decline since the early 1970s. The number of marriages between opposite-sex couples decreased by 3.4 per cent in 2015, compared with 2014.”
Young people, in particular, are avoiding marriage: the average age to get married has continued the steady rise which began in the 1970s. In 2015 it was 37.5 years for men and 35.1 years for women.