• The migration pattern has changed dramatically in the UK over the last century. One hundred years ago, more people left than entered the UK. However, since the early 1990s, net migration into the UK has been an important factor in population growth. Most people migrate to the UK because of work or because they are attending university.
• The most popular destinations for people migrating from the UK are Australia and New Zealand (32% combined), Spain (24%), France (24%) and the US (8%). It will be interesting to see how migration to Spain and France is affected by the current economic slowdown and the depressed real estate prices in Spain.
• The Marriage Act 1836 and the Registration Act 1836 came into force in England and Wales in 1837. This provided the basis for regulating and recording marriages. There were 237,000 marriages in England and Wales in 2006, the lowest recorded number since 1895. The number of marriages in the UK generally rose until the 1940s, fluctuated in the 1950s and then continued to rise in the 1960s. The peak year for marriages was 1972 at around 426,000. The number of people getting married has continued to fall since the early 1970s.
• Less people are getting married and more people are cohabitating. As well, people are getting married later in life. The average age for first marriages is now 31.8 years for men and 29.7 years for women. Interestingly enough, the number of people getting a divorce has also fallen. Divorces peaked in 1993 at 180,000 and have fallen since then to close to 144,000.
• In a related trend, nearly a third of young men and a fifth of young women aged 20 to 34 continue to live at home with their parents. The most common reason given for living at home by young people is that they cannot afford to move out.
• The average age for women giving birth is now 29.3 years, not much different than the 28.7 years recorded in the 1920s. Jack is the most popular name for baby boys in the UK for the 13th consecutive year while Grace has now become the most popular name for girls. The second most popular names for boys and girls were Thomas and Ruby respectively.
A copy of the full 283 page report can be accessed here.
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