Manchester has the highest number of single adults outside London, with more than half of the city’s population currently without a partner, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Between 2001 and 2011, the never-been-married single population of England and Wales grew from 12.5 million to 15.7 million.
There was a particularly significant rise in singles aged 30-49, from 24% in 2001 to 31% in 2011.
Including those who have been widowed or divorced, the total single population reached 23 million in 2011, which equates to more than half the population.
Married couples have thus lost the majority, with only 47% of the population in 2011 having tied the knot – a decline of 4% in a decade.
Though the East Midlands had the highest overall increase (5.53%), the North-West was not far behind with a rise of 5.46% – enough to mean it still retains its title of having the most singles outside of London, with 35.6% of its population unmarried.
Of the North West, Manchester is the worst (or best, depending on your marital status) culprit, with almost 60% of its men and 51% of its women still on the market, and less than 30% of its population married.
The ONS attributes this rise in singletons to a reduction in marriage rates, and an increased age at first marriage, with couples opting to live together for longer before marriage.
It comes then as no surprise that a high proportion of Manchester’s singles have found themselves on dating websites and joining dating agencies.
The online dating website Match.com revealed that Manchester is the second most popular city behind London for singles visiting their site.
Hannah Flannery founder of Singles Mingles, a business which organises singles nights in bars and pubs throughout Greater Manchester, told MM: “I think Manchester has a high population of singles because people are putting their careers first and there are so many young career minded professionals.
“Take West Didsbury for example, it’s teaming with singles at the weekend, but meeting people on a night out isn’t easy and it seems to become harder with age.”
Hannah added that she has seen ‘significant growth’ in singles wanting to attend her jam-packed events.
There are already more than 100 young single professionals signed up for her next singles night, which takes place Saturday April 12 at The Albert Club, West Didsbury.
Image courtesy of Emiliano De Laurentiis, with thanks.