A growing number of women are marrying younger men, according to a new report.
Couples with older wives made up 26 per cent of those marrying in 2004 - up from 15 per cent in 1963.
The proportion of marriages with men at most five years older than their brides dropped to around 50 per cent from nearly two thirds over the same period, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Couples where men were more than five years older than their wives made up 26 per cent of weddings in 2004 - up slightly from 21 per cent in 1963.
Second marriages made up two fifths of all marriages in 2005.
The proportion of non-married men aged under 60 living with a partner more than doubled from 11 per cent to 24 per cent between 1986 and 2005.
Among unmarried women in this age group, the proportion who were cohabiting rose from 13 per cent to 24 per cent over the same period.