§ Mr. Frank R. White
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the rate of divorce for the last five years in Wales and the regions of England.
§ Sir George Young
The only information about divorce routinely available for areas of England and Wales is for the six court circuits. For each circuit, the numbers of petitions filed and decrees nisi granted are shown in "Judicial Statistics Annual Report" (Her Majesty's Stationery Office) a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library; the latest publication is for 1978. However, 593W petitions filed or decrees granted in a circuit need not relate only to the population normally resident in that area. Because the most recent figures of married persons for court circuit areas are those given by the 1971 census, no reliable figures of rates of divorce in the past five years are available except for the country as a whole. For England and Wales as a whole, figures are:
Persons divorcing per thousand married population 1974 9.0 1975 9.6 1976 10.1 1977 10.4 1978 11.6