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Marriage: Religion

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL4637, tabled on 2 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 30 November (HL4074), what estimate they have made of the number of British citizens currently united in religious marriages that have (1) not taken place at registered premises, or (2) been recorded as civil marriages.

Answered on

16 December 2021

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

10 December 2021

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 30 November (HL4074), what estimate has been made of the number of British citizens currently united in religious marriages that have (1) not taken place at registered premises, or (2) been recorded as civil marriages (HL4637).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing marriage statistics for England and Wales. The most recent year for which marriage statistics are available is for 2018 [1]. National Records Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing marriage statistics for marriages registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Information about the nationality of individuals is not collected during the marriage registration process. Some information about the nationality of individuals is reported to the General Register Office (GRO) at the marriage notification stage. This information is not provided to the ONS as we only receive marriage registrations data from GRO.

An annual breakdown of the number of religious marriages and civil marriages which took place in England and Wales is available. It is not possible to determine from marriage registrations data if some religious marriages took place at unregistered premises as this information is not recorded during the registration process. It is also not possible to determine how many civil marriages may have been undertaken in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of certain religious denominations prior to having a civil ceremony.

Table 1 provides the total number of religious marriages and civil religious registered in England and Wales for each year for the period 2008 to 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

1 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/marriagecohabitationandcivilpartnerships/datasets/marriagesinenglandandwales2013

Answered by

Cabinet Office