Five things we learned about marriage in Ireland from the latest CSO stats
The Central Statistics Office has released data surrounding marriages and civil partnerships in Ireland.
Here are the five things you need to know:
1. Number of unions
The number of all marriages (opposite and same sex) registered in 2016 was 22,626 which equates to a marriage rate of 4.8 per 1,000 population, the same rate as in 2015.
This is 601 marriages more than in 2015 when 22,025 marriages took place. Same sex marriages accounted for 4.7pc of all marriages in 2016.
2. The average age of brides and grooms has increased
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.
There were 21,570 opposite sex marriages in 2016. The average age of grooms was 35.7 years, 0.4 years more than the average age of grooms in 2015. In the past 50 years, the average age of grooms decreased from 29.0 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 24.0 in 1977 and increasing to a high of 33.8 in 2016.
3. Religious ceremonies were the most popular
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 (6.8%) couples had Humanist ceremonies.
4. Most popular time of year for weddings
July was the most popular month for opposite sex marriages in 2016 while September was the most popular month for same sex marriages in 2016.
5. Number of first-time marriages
In 2016, 87.8pc (18,934) of marriages were the first marriage for both the groom and bride. The breakdown between grooms and brides was 19,712 (91.4pc) grooms and 20,081 (93.1pc) brides marrying for the first time.
There were 2,444 opposite-sex marriages involving at least one divorced person in 2016, including 552 marriages where both parties were divorced.
Meanwhile, over 56pc of same sex marriages were first time marriages.
Of the 2,112 individual same sex partners in 2016, the majority - 1,195 or 56.6pc were previously single, 840 (39.8pc) were previous civil partners, while 64 (3.0pc) were divorcees, 8 (0.4pc) were former civil partners, 4 (0.2pc) were widows/widowers and there was 1 surviving civil partner.