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Divorce rates 'declined in 2008'

Divorce rates 'declined in 2008'

The number of couples in England and Wales seeking a divorce fell in 2008, new figures have suggested.

Produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), they revealed that the rate of such separations dropped for the fifth year in a row.

In a new report from the organisation, it was claimed that over the course of the 12-month period, the number of spouses seeking a divorce was 11.5 per 1,000. This was a decline of 2.5 per cent on 2007.

Those in their late 20s were identified as the age demographic most likely to file for separation.

While the ONS did not give a reason for the fall, it pointed out that the divorce rate was the lowest since 1979, when there were 11.2 divorces per 1,000 married people.

At the end of last year, David Willetts, shadow cabinet member responsible for the family, told the Guardian that marriage may become a middle-class institution because of the cost and time involved in arranging ceremonies.