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Couples getting hitched later in life as marriage rates fall

Figures from the CSO show Saturday 31 July was the most popular date for marriage in 2010.

Image: Wedding image via Shutterstock

THE AVERAGE AGE of brides and grooms is continuing to rise according to figures from the Central Statistics Office which show an increase in the ages of couples getting married in 2010.

The average age of grooms in 2010 was 34.1 years, a slight increase on the average age in 2009. In the past fifty years, the average age of grooms has decreased from 30.9  in 1960 to a low of 26.2  in 1977 and has increased to a high of 34.1 years in 2010.

A similar trend is evident for brides with the average age decreasing from 27.1 in 1960 to 24.0 in 1977 and has increased to a high of 32.0 in 2010.

The number of marriages registered in 2010 was 20,594, which equates to a crude marriage rate of 4.5 per 1,000 of the population. This compares with a total of 21,627 marriages and a  rate of 4.8 per thousand of the population in 2009. The 2010 rate was the lowest in the state since 1998 when the recorded rate was 4.5 per 1,000 of the population.

Other figures include:

  • 13,781 Roman Catholic marriage ceremonies (67 per cent), 5,991 civil marriages (29 per cent), 427 Church of Ireland ceremonies (2 per cent) with the remaining 2 per cent was made up of Presbyterian, Methodist, Jewish and other ceremonies;
  • July was the most popular month for marriage in 2010 with 13 per cent of ceremonies taking place. January continued to be the least popular month with less than 4 per cent of marriages occurring during that month;
  • Friday and Saturday were the most popular days of the week to get married with 69 per cent of marriages occurring on those days;
  • Saturday 31 July was the most popular date for marriage in 2010, with 10 September following closely behind;
  • In 2010, civil marriages accounted for 29 per cent of all marriages, the same rate as in 2009;
  • Almost 21 per cent (4,231) of all marriages involved the bride and groom being of the same socio-economic group;
  • There were 3,113 divorces granted by the Circuit Court and the High Court in 2010. This was a decrease of 228 (7 per cent) on the 2009 figure.

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