More than a quarter of people in East Hampshire were single as the number of marriage and civil partnerships dropped across the country in the past decade, new census figures show.

The area follows trends across England and Wales, where the rate of single people has increased since the last census in 2011.

The number of people considered single – never having been in a civil partnership or marriage – in East Hampshire when the census took place last year was 29,231, up from 23937 in 2011.

Of those aged 16 and older in East Hampshire, 28.2% were single – an increase on 25.5% in 2011.

The picture was similar across England and Wales last year, where 37.9% of people 16 and older were single, up from 34.6% in 2011.

And 53.7% of people in East Hampshire were married or in a civil partnership last year – one of the highest rates across England and Wales down from 56.1% 10 years prior.

Data from the census shows 55,311 people were in opposite sex marriages last year, up from 52,601 in 2011.

An additional 273 were in same sex marriages in East Hampshire last year – they were illegal in 2011.

The figures also show 133 people were in same sex civil partnerships last year and 72 were in opposite sex civil partnerships. There were 116 people in civil partnerships 10 years prior, which were only allowed for same sex couples at the time.

There were 9,754 divorced people and 23 people with a dissolved civil partnership in East Hampshire last year, making up 9.4% of people aged 16 and over.

John Wroth-Smith, Census deputy director, said: "When looking a bit deeper, we can see that the proportion of people in a marriage or civil partnership has declined, which follows the long-term trend of declining marriages."

"Conversely, the number of people who were never married or in a civil partnership has increased by almost 3 million," Mr Wroth-Smith added.

Nationally, 21.7 million people were married or in a civil partnership – making up 45% of those aged 16 and older. And 9.1% of the population were divorced or no longer in a civil partnership, up slightly from 9% a decade prior.