Civil partnerships fall in South Tyneside
A change in the law around civil partnerships saw them extended to opposite-sex couples from December 2019.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show four opposite-sex couples in South Tyneside formed civil partnerships in 2021, alongside six in 2020.
They were among 13,400 such partnerships which were registered England and Wales by the end of 2021.
Previously, only same-sex couples could enter into civil partnerships.
The popularity of same-sex civil partnerships in England and Wales has also plummeted since the first legalised gay marriages took place in 2014.
In 2021, just 1,039 took place – down significantly from 14,900 in 2006, the first full year in which same-sex couples could form a civil partnership.
In South Tyneside, one same-sex partnership was formed last year – down from five in 2008, when comparable local records first began.
Rich Pereira, deputy director of demography at the ONS, said: "In 2021, the majority of civil partnerships continued to be between opposite-sex couples, following their introduction in late 2019.
"Current data show the age distribution of people forming opposite-sex civil partnerships is older than those forming same-sex civil partnerships.
"Those forming opposite-sex civil partnerships are more likely to have been previously married or civil partnered than those forming same-sex civil partnerships."
He added that the difference may partly reflect opposite-sex couples in long-standing relationships preferring to legally register their union rather than get married.