HC Deb 17 January 1996 vol 269 cc593-4W
Mr. Wicks

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what forecast has been made by Her Majesty's Government of the proportion of new and recent marriages that are likely to end in divorce; and what previous estimates have been made. [9601]

Mr. Horam

An estimate has recently been made of the proportion of marriages which would end in divorce if divorce and death rates each remained at the average level recorded throughout 1993 and 1994. On this basis, 41 per cent. of marriages in England and Wales would end in divorce. Earlier estimates based on 1979–80 and 1987 rates remaining constant were 34 and 37 per cent. respectively. The latest estimate, together with associated commentary and technical explanation, is due to be published by HMSO in mid-March in an article in "Population Trends, 83", copies of which will be placed in the Library.

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