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The Single Population Is Booming In England And Wales

United Kingdom
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Single and looking for love in the UK? You're not the only one. Far from it, in fact. According to data from the 2011 Census, the single population is thriving in England and Wales.

An analysis of the data examined how the single population changed over the decade between 2001 and 2011. Over 15.7 million adults (35% of those aged 16 and over) in England and Wales had never been married in 2011, up significantly from 12.5 million (30%) in 2001. In contrast, there were 23 million (51%) ‘not married’ (meaning never married, divorced, or widowed) people in 2011, a rise from 19.4 million (47%) in 2001.

According to the analysis from the UK's Office for National Statistics, the rise in the single population could be the result of a number of factors. One explanation could be the proportional decline in marriage since the 1970s. Another could be the increased social acceptability of remaining single or cohabiting (either never marrying or not re-marrying following divorce or widowhood).

The Office for National Statistics also teased out a few interesting tidbits from the Census to highlight:

  • The single population in 2011 was older than in 2001. The single population aged over the course of the decade, perhaps due to the increase in older divorced and widowed people. Of those who had never been married, women were younger than men, likely due to the trend for women to marry men older than themselves.
  • Islington had the highest proportion of single people in its population. The majority of the top 10 local authorities with the highest proportions of individuals who were either never married or unmarried were in London. Islington had the greatest concentration of both these groups. The area with the lowest proportion of both never married and not married was East Dorset.
  • There were 21 never married men for every 10 never married women in Richmondshire. In some areas, the ratio of single men to single women was drastically imbalanced. Richmondshire was home to 21 never married men to every 10 never married women. Within Richmondshire, Scotton had the largest difference between males and females who had never married: 97 men to every 10 women. There were no local authorities with considerably more women who had never married than men.

The Office for National Statistics also released an map that plots the results of the Census analysis. Use it to search by relationship status, gender, postcode or address to find out which parts of the country are most densely populated with singles. If you're looking for love and having no luck at home, it may be time to consider a move.