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Marriages 2002

Average age of groom
Average age of bride
Civil Marriages

Couples marrying later

The average age of grooms in 2002 was 32.5 years, over 2 years higher than the average age of 30.2 in 1996, and almost 4 years higher than the average age of 28.6 in 1990. Similarly, brides’ average age of 30.4 years in 2002 is 2 years higher than the 1996 figure of 28.4 and almost 4 years higher than the 1990 figure of 26.6.

The number of marriages registered in 2002 was 20,556, which works out as 5.2 marriages per 1,000 of the population. This compares with a total of 16,174 and a marriage rate of 4.5 per thousand in 1996.

These figures are contained in the Central Statistics Office’s Vital Statistics, Marriages report for 2002.

In 2002 almost 60% of grooms were aged thirty or over on their wedding day. This is more than double the percentage of grooms aged thirty or over in 1990 (28%). The proportion of older brides has also more than doubled since 1990, from 16.2% of brides aged thirty or over in 1990 to 44.2% of brides aged thirty or over in 2002.

The groom was older than the bride in 63% of marriages, the same age in a further 12% of marriages and in the remaining 25% of cases the bride was older than the groom.

The number of civil marriages almost quadrupled from 928 in 1996 to 3,683 in 2002. This represents an increase from 5.7% of all marriages in 1996 to 17.9% in 2002. A contributing factor to this increase was the legalisation of divorce in 1997 and the consequential increase in the incidence of re-marriage.

The average age of the groom in civil marriages was 36.4 years, almost 4 years higher than the overall average of 32.5. The average age of the bride in civil marriages was 33.4 years, 3 years higher than the overall average of 30.4. A contributing factor to this higher average age is re-marriage following divorce.

Over one-third of grooms (34.8%) and brides (35.5%) residing in Dublin City before marriage had civil marriages. On the other hand, less than one in twenty grooms (4.7%) and brides (4.5%) living in County Monaghan had civil marriages.

The number of Roman Catholic marriage ceremonies increased from 14,607 in 1996 to 15,908 in 2002. However, this increase masked a significant decline, from over 90% to 77%, in the proportion of all marriages accounted for by these ceremonies.

The number of Church of Ireland ceremonies increased from 483 to 781, or from 3% of all marriages in 1996 to 3.8% of all marriages in 2002.

The number of marriages for other religious denominations that are licensed to register marriages showed very little change over the five-year period from 1996 to 2002, increasing from 156 to 184.

The most popular month for marriage in 2002 was August, when 17% of marriages occurred. The least popular months were January and February, with just 3% of marriages occurring in each of these months. Saturday is the most popular day of the week to get married with almost 40% of marriages occurring on that day. The least popular day was Sunday when just 2% of marriages were recorded.

Marriages, 2002 is available on our website

Hard copies available from the:

Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork,

Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2,

or through any bookseller.

For more information contact Joseph Keating (LoCall 1890 313 414 ext 5121).

Internet address:

29 June 2005

— ENDS —