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Consultation on Population Estimates by Marital Status and Living Arrangements

Opening date: 03 June 2014
Closing date: 11 July 2014
Department: Office for National Statistics
Category: Population and Migration

Estimates of the England and Wales population by marital status are published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and provide estimates of the resident population who are single, married, widowed or divorced. Over recent years there have been changes in society which impact on these estimates such as rising cohabitation, the growth in people marrying abroad and the introduction of civil partnerships and marriage of same-sex couples.

The publication of data from the 2011 Census on the marital status of the England and Wales population has provided a good opportunity to review whether the current output is still fit for purpose. As part of this review, ONS welcomes your views on a proposed change to the method used and tables produced.


We asked:

What do you think of our proposals to update Population Estimates by Marital Status and Living Arrangements statistics?

You said:
  • You mostly did not have concerns about the change of method. Some of you had concerns about the changes affecting the quality, coverage or accuracy of the data.

  • You mostly (over 50%) did not have concerns about the proposed new tables.

  • You mostly (73%) wanted more detailed living arrangements categories rather than more detailed age groups.

  • You mostly (73%) wanted estimates to be published from 2002 onwards.

We did:
  • Agree to use the new proposed methodology for future publications including:
        One table presenting legal marital status by sex and five year age bands;
        A second table presenting living arrangements in greater detail by sex and less detailed age bands.

  • Decide to continue publishing the data for England and Wales only.

  • Agree to include data from 2002 onwards for the legal marital status table and the living arrangements table.

  • Decide to include an estimate of same sex couples who are married by sex, but only if at least three people in same sex couples who are married have been surveyed in the LFS.

Contact details:
Julie Jefferies
Office for National Statistics
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR
Tel: +44 (0)1329 444677


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