Hart has the third-highest percentage of married couples in the UK, latest figures show.

More than half of adults living in the district, which includes the towns of Fleet and Yateley, are married, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Results published in a report in March showed that 58.2% of couples in Hart were married. Surrey Heath was also in the top 10 list, with 56.2% couples having tied the knot.

Ken Crookes, leader of Hart District Council, said: “There are a number of factors that could lead to Hart having the third-highest percentage of married couples in the UK. Predominantly there has been a national decline in marriages in the UK since the Seventies, however as Hart has a growing ageing population, this could be why the statistics remain high in the area.

“We also see health and wellbeing as a high priority for this district and this could be another factor.”

The report, entitled How Have Living Arrangements and Marital Status in England and Wales Changed Since 2001? stated that geograph-ical variations in marital status distribution was affected by the age and sex structure of an area.

For example, local author-ities with a high proportion of older females are more likely to have a higher proportion of widows, while those with large student populations are likely to have a higher proportion of the population who are single.

The median age of all adults in Hart and Surrey Heath was 46 years old.

The report showed that British adults under 50 were less likely to get divorced compared with people over 50. Reasons for this increase may include later marriage, improved life expectancy leading to partnerships surviving to an older age, and therefore the potential to divorce at an older age.

The report stated: “In 2011, nearly half, 48% or 21.2 million, of the adult household population were married or in a civil partnership.

“Information on marital status and living arrangements is used by a variety of people, including the Government for analysing future benefit uptake and providing advice on matters relating to pension schemes”.

Areas with the lowest percentage of married couples were in the London boroughs. The findings were based on the 2011 Census data on marital status.

As reported last week, Farnborough and Aldershot were recently ranked in the top 10 towns in the UK for extra-marital affairs, according to data from a specialist dating website.