herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Couples wait much longer to tie the knot

Brides and grooms are much older getting married but they are still more likely to go through a church rather than a civil ceremony and the groom is still traditionally older than the bride.

When it comes to same-sex partnerships, 37 men and women who entered into these last year had previously been married to a person of the opposite sex.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show that there were 20,680 marriages last year, down just 33 on the previous year, and 6,096 civil ceremonies, which was just under 300 fewer than the previous year.

groom

The number of same sex marriages was also down 91 on the previous year, to a total of 338.

The average age of the groom in church marriages was just under 35 years, while brides were just under 33 years. This means couples were almost nine years older for both sexes compared to couples marrying 45 years ago.

Men opting for a civil marriage ceremony were even older, with an average age of just under 38.

August is still the most popular month for tying the knot and August 3 was the most popular day of the year to get married last year.

January was the least popular, chosen by just 2.7pc of couples, while almost half of all marriages took place between June and September.

Fridays and Saturdays remain the most popular days of the week for a wedding, chosen by seven in 10 couples. Sunday was the least popular, accounting for only 1.5pc of the total.

Almost two-thirds of all ceremonies were Roman Catholic. Church of Ireland marriages accounted for 2.2pc of ceremonies and the remaining 5.9pc was made up of Presbyterian, Methodist and other ceremonies.

In almost two-thirds of marriages the groom was older than the bride. Grooms under 25, however, bucked that trend where the bride was older in nearly 41pc of cases.

Divorced

For nine out of 10 people it was the first marriage for both partners, but last year there were 2,230 marriages involving at least one divorced person.

In the case of same-sex unions, more men than women entered into the unions - 208 compared to 130 women.

The average age of the men was 38.5 years, compared to just under 41 years for women.

Most of the same sex couples (74pc) lived in Leinster and 41pc lived in Dublin city.

The CSO figures show the marriage rate in this country was 4.5 per 1,000 people last year and unchanged from the previous year. This compares with 6.9 per 1,000 for Lithuania at the top of EU marriage league and Bulgaria at the bottom with a rate of 2.9 per 1,000.

csheehy@herald.ie

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