The Equality Act defines the protected characteristic of Marriage & Civil partnership as applying to people who are legally married or who are in a civil partnership. This does not cover single people, divorcees, fiancés, cohabitees, and so on[1].

Marriage is legally recognised between partners of different sex (e.g. a man and a woman) or of the same sex. Civil partnership is between partners of the same sex. In Scotland, the Scottish Parliament has legislated to allow same-sex marriages (see Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014).

Interesting facts about Marriage & Civil Partnership

  • The majority of people in Fife are married or in a civil partnership (48.2%)
  • Marriages have been decreasing in Scotland (almost by a third over the past 40 years)
  • 36 same sex marriages and 1 female Civil Partnership took place in 2016
  • Following the 2014 Marriage and Civil Partnership Act, the uptake of civil partnerships has levelled at around 70 per year in Scotland.
  • Married or civil-partnership households make up 34.2% of households in Fife

Demography

Population

The 2011 census, indicated that the majority of people in Fife are married or in a civil partnership with 48.2% which is slightly above Scotland’s average at 45.4%.

Fife Scotland
All people aged 16 and over 300801 4379072
% Married or in a registered same-sex civil partnership 48.2 45.4
% Separated (but still legally married or still legally in a same-sex civil partnership) 3.3 3.2
% Divorced or formerly in a same-sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved 9.1 8.2
% Widowed or surviving partner from a same-sex civil partnership 7.8 7.8
% Single (never married or never registered a same-sex civil partnership) 31.6 35.4

Source: Scotland’s Census 2011

Marriages and Civil Partnerships: 2016

There have been 36 same sex marriages and 1 female Civil Partnership taking place in Fife by October 2016. Across Scotland, 3.4% of marriages were same-sex marriages, in Fife this was lower at 2.2%

Area Marriages Civil Partnerships
Total Opposite Sex Same Sex Male Female
SCOTLAND 29,229 28,230 999 42 28
Fife 1,623 1,587 36 1

Source: NRS: Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events
Preliminary Annual Figures (27 October 2016)

In 2015, there was 1,671 same-sex marriages in Scotland in 2015, 935 of which were conversions from existing civil partnerships and 736 were marriages. Just over one in four couples convert Scottish Civil Partnerships to a marriage. Another noticeable trend is that marriages are decreasing in Scotland (almost by a third over the past 40 years) and also that the uptake of civil partnerships has levelled at around 70 in Scotland.

Source: NRS: Infographics (2016)

 

Living Standards

Housing

Married or civil-partnership households make up 34.2% of households in Fife, ahead of one-person households (31.9%) and lone parent families (10.9%).

  Fife
Total number of households
(with residents)
160952
% One person household – Aged 65 or over 13.2
% One person household – Aged under 65 18.7
 

One-person (combined)

 

 

31.9

% One family only: Lone parent: With dependent children 7.3
% One family only: Lone parent: All children non-dependent 3.6
 

Lone parent (Combined)

 

 

10.9

% One family only: Married or same-sex civil partnership couple: With dependent children 13.7
% One family only: Married or same-sex civil partnership couple: No dependent children 20.5
 

Married (Combined)

 

 

34.2

% One family only: Cohabiting couple: With dependent children 4.4
% One family only: Cohabiting couple: No dependent children 5.5
% Other households: All full-time students 0.8
% Other households: All aged 65 and over 8.8
% Other households: Other 3.5

Households – Source: Scotland’s Census 2011

Health

Key points

Married people generally live longer and have better health than unmarried people[2] and the health of a couple also tend to be affected by positive or negatives experiences of the relationship. Marital cohesion has been linked with outcomes such as better ambulatory blood pressure whereas marital strain has been shown to place women at greater risk of coronary events[3].

Justice and Personal Security

Forced Marriages

In Scotland, the Forced Marriage etc (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011 came into force on 28 November 2011 and provides civil protection in the form of Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) for those at risk of forced marriage as well as those already in forced marriages. Breaching a FMPO is a criminal offence in Scotland, under section 122 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and came into force on 30th September 2014.

By January 2017 12 FMPOs have been issued in Scotland[4], no further breakdown of data at local level was available at this time, however the research carried between 2011 and 2014 based on 191 cases of forced marriage can give an idea of unreported patterns.

Cases in during the research period tended to involve young, female South Asian victims being threatened or coerced into marriage largely by their parents and extended families. The areas survey did not include Fife but incidence locally can be expected to lie be between Edinburgh’s (with the highest proportion of cases at 39%) and Dundee (2%) due to proximity and size of population.

2011 2012 2013 2014 Total*
Aberdeen City 4 (10%) 4 (10%) 4 (8%) 5 (9%) 17 (9%)
Dundee 2 (5%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (2%) 3 (2%)
East Renfrewshire 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Edinburgh 16 (38%) 17 (41%) 25 (48%) 17 (4%) 75 (39%)
Glasgow City 17 (40%) 20 (49%) 17 (33%) 18 (32%) 72 (38%)
Highlands 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
National sample 3 (7%) 0 (0%) 6 (12%) 15 (27%) 24 (13%)
Total* 42 (100%) 41 (100%) 52 (100%) 56 (100%) 191 (100%)

Source: Scottish Government (2017) Understanding forced marriage in Scotland
Table 2: Cases reported by study year and area

 

Of the cases where age was known, the majority of victims were aged 18-25, with under 18s representing around a quarter of cases and under 16s around 1 in 10 of cases. Victims were mainly from Pakistani backgrounds (more than half of cases where ethnicity was known), followed by ‘other ethnicity’, Indian and Black African.

Ethnicity White Black African Black Carib-bean Other Black Pakistani Bangladeshi Indian Other Asian Mixed race Other
Count /

(%)

4 (3%) 11 (8%) 0

(0%)

0 (0%) 79 (

55%)

7

(5%)

13 (9%) 8 (6%) 1 (1%) 20 (14%)

 


Age group
Under 16 16-17 years 18-21 years 22-25 years 26-30 years 31+ years
(%) 14

(11%)

18

(14%)

36

(27%)

38

(29%)

19

(14%)

8

(6%)

Source: Scottish Government (2017) Understanding forced marriage in Scotland
Table 3:
Victim demographics

[1] EHRC (March 2017) Equality Act 2010 – Handbook for Advisors [Scotland] p8

[2] Sally Wyke GraemeFord (1992) Social Science & Medicine Volume 34, Issue 5, March 1992, Pages 523-532. Competing explanations for associations between marital status and health

[3] Martire, L.M., Schulz, R., Helgeson, V.S. et al. ann. behav. med. (2010) Review and Meta-analysis of Couple-Oriented Interventions for Chronic Illness. 40: 325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-010-9216-2

[4] Scottish Government (2017) Understanding forced marriage in Scotland

[5] EHRC (March 2017) Equality Act 2010 – Handbook for Advisors [Scotland] p8

[6] ISD (4 July 2017) Teenage Pregnancy Year of conception ending 31 December 2015

[7] EHRC (2015) Pregnancy and Maternity-related Discrimination and Disadvantage: Experience of Employees. For BIS / IFF research

[8] Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2010: Attitudes to Discrimination and Positive Action.

[9] OPFS Briefing (24 August 2017): Universal Credit: Single Parents – Gender Issues.

[10] End Child Poverty 2016 – POVERTY IN YOUR AREA 2016 Table 2, Fife

[11] Maternal Care Survey 2015. NHS Fife Victoria Hospital Results http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/maternitysurvey

[12] ScotPHO (16 December 2016) Mental health: postnatal depression and puerperal psychosis

[13] Scottish women’s Aid (2012) Everyday Terrorism: How Fear Works in Domestic Abuse, p137