2018 01 16 RT FINAL Humanist vs religious weddings by year
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Table 1: Number of religious marriages by type of ceremony
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England and Wales
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Number of ceremonies
Cumulative growth/shrinkage over time
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Type of religious ceremonyNotes200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015Type of religious ceremonyNotes200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015
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Church of England157,93457,14754,05453,59153,50652,78054,12351,13455,29547,22546,67543,023Church of England10%-1.36%-6.70%-7.50%-7.64%-8.90%-6.58%-11.74%-4.56%-18.48%-19.43%-25.74%
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Roman Catholic19,8509,5999,2638,9048,9098,4268,6228,3908,6647,5507,5987,001Roman Catholic10%-2.55%-5.96%-9.60%-9.55%-14.46%-12.47%-14.82%-12.04%-23.35%-22.86%-28.92%
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Church in Wales14,0724,0083,9093,5103,5513,4563,4843,3293,5023,0013,0422,878Church in Wales10%-1.57%-4.00%-13.80%-12.79%-15.13%-14.44%-18.25%-14.00%-26.30%-25.29%-29.32%
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Other Christian body (including Mormons)12,4972,1982,2152,1191,9991,9972,1012,1622,2632,1962,2731,912Other Christian body10%-11.97%-11.29%-15.14%-19.94%-20.02%-15.86%-13.42%-9.37%-12.05%-8.97%-23.43%
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Methodist15,3044,7714,2093,7303,3272,9742,9102,8172,7622,1722,1141,880Methodist10%-10.05%-20.64%-29.68%-37.27%-43.93%-45.14%-46.89%-47.93%-59.05%-60.14%-64.56%
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Sikh1,21,1731,1401,2031,2761,2891,2761,3861,4591,5571,5021,5111,399Sikh1,20%-2.81%2.56%8.78%9.89%8.78%18.16%24.38%32.74%28.05%28.82%19.27%
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Baptist11,7371,6411,5601,4831,4551,3011,3701,2671,3071,3001,1711,082Baptist10%-5.53%-10.19%-14.62%-16.23%-25.10%-21.13%-27.06%-24.76%-25.16%-32.58%-37.71%
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Humanists UK3287316405357371366416489496635732975Humanists UK30%10.10%41.11%24.39%29.27%27.53%44.95%70.38%72.82%121.25%155.05%239.72%
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Jews1757764714710669727667615664690652659Jews10%0.92%-5.68%-6.21%-11.62%-3.96%-11.89%-18.76%-12.29%-8.85%-13.87%-12.95%
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United Reformed Church11,7741,6421,4291,2271,1951,0641,0169891,038842803642United Reformed Church10%-7.44%-19.45%-30.83%-32.64%-40.02%-42.73%-44.25%-41.49%-52.54%-54.74%-63.81%
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Jehovahs Witness1656587541570560498513526524496485395Jehovahs Witness10%-10.52%-17.53%-13.11%-14.63%-24.09%-21.80%-19.82%-20.12%-24.39%-26.07%-39.79%
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Other unattached body1571509565630633613614322290208242375Other unattached body10%-10.86%-1.05%10.33%10.86%7.36%7.53%-43.61%-49.21%-63.57%-57.62%-34.33%
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Muslim1,2219147147197187238200251372327333301Muslim1,20%-32.88%-32.88%-10.05%-14.61%8.68%-8.68%14.61%69.86%49.32%52.05%37.44%
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Unitarian1466419389394363352315321326271306288Unitarian10%-10.09%-16.52%-15.45%-22.10%-24.46%-32.40%-31.12%-30.04%-41.85%-34.33%-38.20%
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Congregationalist1436384339288281279276258275261227230Congregationalist10%-11.93%-22.25%-33.94%-35.55%-36.01%-36.70%-40.83%-36.93%-40.14%-47.94%-47.25%
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Brethren1176151120122135120124113127141168166Brethren10%-14.20%-31.82%-30.68%-23.30%-31.82%-29.55%-35.80%-27.84%-19.89%-4.55%-5.68%
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Presbyterian1182160154140146124129132125115102110Presbyterian10%-12.09%-15.38%-23.08%-19.78%-31.87%-29.12%-27.47%-31.32%-36.81%-43.96%-39.56%
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Salvation Army1179191136133138131140131140131122108Salvation Army10%6.70%-24.02%-25.70%-22.91%-26.82%-21.79%-26.82%-21.79%-26.82%-31.84%-39.66%
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Calvanistic Methodist111011798110104100101851017710294Calvanistic Methodist10%6.36%-10.91%0.00%-5.45%-9.09%-8.18%-22.73%-8.18%-30.00%-7.27%-14.55%
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Society of Friends1615459354233374339332230Society of Friends10%-11.48%-3.28%-42.62%-31.15%-45.90%-39.34%-29.51%-36.07%-45.90%-63.93%-50.82%
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Not stated12700940108102628041
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Opposite-sex religious marriage ceremonies
88,15685,63681,10479,16978,49876,49378,12874,45279,47368,60068,02862,614
Opposite-sex religious marriage ceremonies
0%-2.86%-8.00%-10.19%-10.96%-13.23%-11.38%-15.55%-9.85%-22.18%-22.83%-28.97%
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Same-sex religious marriage ceremoniesN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A2344
Same-sex religious marriage ceremonies
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
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All religious marriage ceremonies88,15685,63681,10479,16978,49876,49378,12874,45279,47368,60068,05162,658All religious marriage ceremonies0%-2.86%-8.00%-10.19%-10.96%-13.23%-11.38%-15.55%-9.85%-22.18%-22.81%-28.92%
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Opposite-sex civil marriage ceremonies4184,913162,169158,350156,198157,296155,950165,680174,681184,167172,254179,344176,406
Opposite-sex civil marriage ceremonies
40%-12.30%-14.37%-15.53%-14.94%-15.66%-10.40%-5.53%-0.40%-6.85%-3.01%-4.60%
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Same-sex civil marriage ceremonies4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A6,4934,850Same-sex civil marriage ceremonies4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
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All civil marriage ceremonies4184,913162,169158,350156,198157,296155,950165,680174,681184,167172,254185,837181,256All civil marriage ceremonies40%-12.30%-14.37%-15.53%-14.94%-15.66%-10.40%-5.53%-0.40%-6.85%0.50%-1.98%
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1. These figures do not include same-sex religious ceremonies, as before 2014 there was no legal recognition, and there were only 23 of these in 2014 and 44 in 2015, so too few for a breakdown to be provided. But as there were so few, these missing figures also do not have a huge impact on overall trends.
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2. Marriage statistics for these denominations can be misleading as some religious weddings (such as Muslim and Sikh) can take place at unregistered premises. To be registered as a legal marriage the couple must have a further marriage ceremony in a registry office or approved building. Such weddings are coded as civil marriages because only the civil marriage certificate is received. Given that marriage statistics can be misleading for some religions, since 2011 we have only published religious denominations under broad groupings.
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3. These figures are for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples - separate statistics are not compiled. Stats are readily available for England and Wales from 2012-15. Before that only UK-wide stats were compiled - so for the above table, England and Wales-specific stats have been estimated based on the difference between the UK and England and Wales after 2011. Stats are missing for 2004 so the average of 2003 (258) and 2005 (316) is displayed (i.e. 287). Humanist ceremonies are not at present legally recognised so these figures are not from an official soruce but Humanists UK's own records. Couples having a humanist ceremony will typically also have a civil marriage in order to gain legal recognition.
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4. Where a couple has a humanist ceremony, as these are not at present legally recognised, they often typically also have a civil marriage in order to gain legal recognition. The number of humanist ceremonies has not been deducted from the number of civil marriages displayed here.
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Source: Office for National Statistics for religious and civil; Humanists UK for humanist
ONS stats released to Humanists UK: 13 April 2018
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