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Marriage in Ireland rose by nearly 10 per cent in just 5 years - CSO

The latest release from the Central Statistics Office delves into how Ireland’s households and families have changed since 2006.

File Photo.
File Photo.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THERE ARE OVER 1.7 million married people in Ireland, an increase of nearly 10 percent since 2006, latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have shown.

These latest figures are based on the results of last year’s census, which took place on 10 April 2011, and focuses specifically on Ireland’s living arrangements.

It has revealed that 32 is the age from which the number of married women in Ireland outnumber those who are single.

The age at which the same is true for males is slightly higher at 34. On average, males within relationships are just over two years older than their female partners.

The number of those married increased by 143,588 over the period, with those aged 15 and older who remain single falling from 43.1 per cent of the population to 41.7 per cent.


There has been a 550 per cent increase in those getting remarried in the 15 years between the 1996 and 2011 censuses, with numbers rising from 6,641 to 42,960.

Divorced males are two-thirds more likely to remarry than divorced women, with 39 per cent of divorced men having since remarried.

Less than half of females who are divorced live in child-free households, while over 75 per cent of divorced males do.

Family sizes

Despite of – or perhaps because of – the recession, the average family size is no longer dropping, remaining at 1.4 children per family. Since the 1991 census, numbers had been dropping consistently, from an initial average of two children in 1991 to 1.4 in 2006.

Rural families remain slightly larger on average, at 1.5 children per household.

This number could be set to increase, however, as the number of women between 30 to 34 (defined as being the peak childbearing years) saw a rise of 15.9 per cent since 2006.

Women who do not have children were found to be more likely to have attained a third level qualification, at 58.1 per cent versus 37.9 per cent.

Cohabiting couples also tend to have smaller families than married couples.

Lone parents were found to be less likely to be working, at just 42.5 per cent compared to 69.3 per cent for two-parent families.

Same-sex couples

Last years census also recorded over 4,000 same-sex couples living together in Ireland, with 57.4 per cent being male.

Referring to the latest set of data, Deirdre Cullen, a senior statistician at the CSO, said:

The living arrangements of families and households in Ireland is constantly changing and this report provides important new information on this intriguing aspect of Irish life.

Read: Cost of living rose by 0.6pc in August >

To use the interactive chart below to delve into these numbers – courtesy of the All-Island Research Observatory – please select from the various radio-buttons. Mobile users can access the chart here.

About the author:

Paul Hyland

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