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The Office for National Statistics: journeying through modern life

Posted by Danielle Harvey on 17 May 2024

two women getting married outdoors Credit: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ave CalvarThe Office for National Statistics has published an article exploring life’s most important milestones and how they have changed over time. Using a range of data sources, the article looks at key life events such when people enter the workforce, get married, and earn the most money.

Kerry Gadsdon, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said: “Everyone’s journey through adulthood is different, but we can use a range of data to explore key events in life. We’ve examined how these milestones of adulthood have changed over the past decade and can see how society is shifting.
“In England and Wales, people are doing many things later in life; like leaving their parent’s home, getting married, and retiring. But not everything has changed. Most people still enter the workforce at 23-24 years old and make the most money in their 30s to 50s."

The findings on marriage
In the past, many people expected to get married before moving in with a partner or having children. It is now more common that couples live together and have children before entering a legal partnership, if they do so at all.This section focuses on marriages and excludes civil partnerships.

The median age at first marriage has been steadily increasing since the 1960s. For opposite sex couples married in 2020, the median age was 32 years for men and 30 years for women. For those entering into same-sex marriage, the median age was older, at 36 years for men and 32 years for women.

To read more in marriage statistics visit here. To read the full findings visit here.

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