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People, population and community 1 February 2022

Divorces in England and Wales 2020

Main points

  • In 2020, there were 103,592 divorces granted in England and Wales, a decrease of 4.5% compared with 2019; of these, the majority were among opposite-sex couples (98.9%).

  • The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has previously reported that family court activities were affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during 2020, including the temporary suspension of operations by some courts for a period of time; this may have impacted the number and timeliness of completed divorces in 2020 but it is difficult to know the extent of the impact.

  • There were 102,438 opposite-sex divorces in 2020, decreasing by 4.8% from 107,599 in 2019.

  • In 2020, there were 1,154 divorces among same-sex couples, increasing by 40.4% from 2019; of these, the majority continued to be accounted for by female same-sex divorces (71.3%).

Go to ONS release