Same-sex couples formed 18,059 civil partnerships in the UK between December
2005 and the end of December 2006, according to provisional figures released today
by the Office for National Statistics. Of these, 16,173 took place in England,
627 in Wales, 1,131 in Scotland and 128 in Northern Ireland.
A total of 1,953 partnerships were formed in the UK in December 2005. There
were 16,106 in 2006. The average number of partnerships formed each month between
January and March 2006 was 1,623, falling to 1,476 between April and September
and 794 between October and December.
Up to the end of 2006, there were more male civil partnerships formed than
female in all four countries of the UK. In December 2005, 66 per cent of all
people forming partnerships were male. In 2006, this proportion was 60 per cent.
In England, 9,913 male and 6,260 female partnerships were formed up to the
end of 2006. The corresponding figures were 318 and 309 in Wales, 633 and 498
in Scotland and 71 and 57 in Northern Ireland. The average age at formation
in the UK in December 2005 was 53.9 years for men and 46.1 years for women.
In 2006, it was 47.0 and 43.6 years respectively. The average age of all partners
in 2006 was highest in England (45.8) and lowest in Northern Ireland (41.3).
The average age in Wales was 45.3 and in Scotland, 44.4 years.
London had the highest proportion of male civil partnerships (79 per cent
in December 2005 and 76 per cent in 2006). Slightly more women than men (51
per cent) registered a partnership in both Yorkshire and The Humber and the
East Midlands up to the end of 2006.
London was the most popular region within the UK in which to register a partnership
between December 2005 and the end of 2006. A quarter of all civil partnerships
took place there (3,429 male and 1,059 female), more than twice the proportion
of the population of the UK aged 16 and over living in this region.
The most popular areas in which to form a civil partnership up to the end
of 2006 were Greater Manchester Metropolitan County (430 male and 304 female
partnerships), Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority (453 male and 236 female
partnerships) and the London Borough of Westminster (514 male and 88 female
partnerships). The proportion of male partnerships in these areas was 59, 66
and 85 per cent respectively.
Up to the end of 2006, 10 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women forming
a civil partnership in the UK had been in a previous marriage (see background
note 8). In 2006, 21 per cent of people entering a partnership in Wales had
previously been married compared with 16 per cent in Scotland, 15 per cent in
England and 12 per cent in Northern Ireland.
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