asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give, for each of the last 20 years, the numbers of (a) divorces, (b) legal separations in magistrates' courts, (c) legal separations in the High Court, (d) marriages, and (e) married couples; and whether he can give any indication of the number of those married couples who were in fact living apart.
The available figures in respect of England and Wales relating to parts (a), (c) and (d) of the question are as follows:
In answer to part ( b) of the question, I understand from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department that detailed statistics relating to the Matrimonial Proceedings (Magistrates' Courts) Act 1960 are not maintained centrally and the cost of obtaining them would be disproportionately high.
In answer to part ( e) of the question, annual estimates are not available of numbers of married couples. The available estimates relate to numbers of married men and women, and include persons whose spouses were residing for a year or more outside England and Wales.
|ESTIMATED NUMBERS OF MARRIED PERSONS|
Information for the years 1973 to 1978 from the general household survey, relating to Great Britain, showed that around 2½ per cent. of married women and 1½ per cent. of married men lived in private households without a spouse being usually resident with them. There are a number of factors contributing to these figures, which cannot be taken to relate solely to broken marriages.