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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 17:21 GMT
Marriage figures expected to fall
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Couples like Prince Charles and Camilla will marry later
The number of couples who get married in England and Wales is set to fall by 10% in the next 25 years, according to new research.

New figures compiled by the Government Actuary's Department show that the number of people who have never married is also expected to rise by 2031.

But experts claim that more couples will opt to live with each other rather than tie the knot.

They predict co-habiting couples will double from 2m to 3.8m within 25 years.

The statisticians said the number of men who are married will fall from 53% in 2003 to 42% by 2031, while the number of married women will drop from 50% to 40%.

The number of people who will never marry is set to increase by 11%.

The report assumes that marriage rates under the age of 30 will continue to fall, but more and more older couples like Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, will continue to tie the knot at a later age.

Adults who are divorced over the age of 65 are also expected to keep rising while divorce figures among young married couples should gradually drop by 2031.

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