Marriages on the rise again after post-boom decline

The number of couples getting married here is on the rise despite the recession.

According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), there were more than 20,700 marriages in Ireland last year — up more than 4% on 2011.

Civil marriages accounted for nearly a third of all pairings (28%); while 65% of ceremonies took place in the Roman Catholic tradition — both reductions of 1% from 2011.

Overall, the marriage rate stands at 4.5% per 1,000 of the population — a slight rise on the 4.3% rate in 2011.

While the marriage rate is rising, it is still some distance behind the rate of 5.2% during the boom years. It had been steadily dropping since 2008 until last year.

There were 2,892 divorces granted by the Circuit Court and the High Court last year — an increase of 73 on 2011.

The average age of grooms last year was 34.7 years, while the average age of brides was 32.6. The average age of the groom in civil marriages was 37.9 years while the average age of the groom in Roman Catholic marriages was 33.2 years.

This contrasts with the average ages for a married couple in 1977, which were 26.2 years for a groom and 24 years for a bride.

More than 88% (18,286) of marriages were the first marriage for both the groom and bride, while there were 2,273 marriages involving at least one divorced person in 2012.

In almost two-thirds (63%) of marriages, the groom was older than the bride across all age groups except in the case of grooms under the age of 25, where the bride was older in 43% of marriages.

There were 429 civil partnerships registered last year: 263 male unions and 166 female unions.

The average age of partners in civil partnership couples was 41.6 years — with the average age of male partners being 41.1 and average age of female partners was 42.2.

More than 69% (298) of the same-sex couples entering into civil partnerships last year live in the Leinster area with 148 such couples (34%) living in Dublin city.

There was a one to four year difference in age in almost 37% of all male partnerships compared to almost 49% of female partnerships.

August was the most popular month for marriage last year with almost 15% of marriages occurring in that month. January was the least popular month to tie the knot with just 449 marriages occurring.

Friday and Saturday were the most popular days of the week to marry, with seven out of 10 marriages occurring on these days. Sunday was the least popular day to wed with only 220 couples choosing this day to wed.

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