Monday 24 April 2017

The figures are in - Irish couples are waiting a lot longer to get married

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

It seems Irish couples are in no rush to wed.

While last year's figures indicated that the days of rushing up the altar are behind us, the latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the average age of brides and grooms is among the highest it's ever been.

Over the last 12 months, the average age for grooms in opposite sex marriages now stands at 35.7, while brides in opposite sex marriages are on average 33.8

In the past 50 years, the average age of grooms decreased from 29 years in 1966 to a low of 26.2 years in 1977 and increased to a high of 35.7 years in 2016.

A similar trend is evident for brides with the average age decreasing from 25.7 in 1966 to 24 in 1977 and increasing to a high of 33.8 in 2016.

The average age of couples in same-sex marriages in 2016 was 40.7 years.

The average age of male partners in same-sex marriages was 40.5 and the average age of female partners was slightly higher at 41.

The majority of marriages are still conducted in the Catholic Church, representing 53.7% of ceremonies, with civil marriages accounting for 28.5%, humanist xxxx at 6.8%, spiriitualist union at 4.6%, other religious xxxx at 4.9% and Church of Ireland accounting for 1.6%.

In 2016, religious ceremonies accounted for 64.8pc of all marriages.

There were 12,140 (53.7pc) Catholic marriage ceremonies, 372 (1.6pc) Church of Ireland ceremonies, The Spiritualist Union of Ireland performed 1,038 (4.6pc) ceremonies and 1,104 (4.9pc) couples opted for other religious ceremonies.

The majority of non-religious ceremonies were civil marriages with 28.5pc (6,438) of all marriages; the remaining 1,534 (6.8pc) couples had Humanist ceremonies.

The CSO reports that July is the most popular month for heterosexual marriages, while same-sex couples prefer September.

Sunday is the least popular day for weddings to take place. Just 504 (2.3pc) opposite-sex couples and 30 (2.8pc) same-sex couples got married on a Sunday.

Friday and Saturday are the most popular days of the week for opposite-sex couples to get married, with 14,924, or 69.2pc, of marriages occurring on those days.

The most popular date for opposite-sex couples to marry is Saturday, July 30.

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