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Press Statement


13 April 2017

Marriages and Civil Partnerships 2016

Main features
  • Same sex marriages account for almost 5% of all marriages
  • The average age of brides and grooms tying the knot continues to rise reaching 33.8 years for brides and 35.7 years for grooms
  • The average age of males entering same sex marriages was 40.5 years while the average age of female unions was 41.0 years
  • Slightly over a half (56%) of all opposite sex marriages opted for a Roman Catholic ceremony
  • A civil marriage was the ceremony of choice for over a quarter (26%) of opposite sex couples
  • July and August were the most popular months to wed
  • Go to release: Marriages and Civil Partnerships 2016

    The CSO today (13th April 2017) released the report on Marriages and Civil Partnerships 2016.  Commenting on the report, Carol Anne Hennessy, Statistician said: “2016 is the first 12 month period for which same sex marriage statistics are available.  In Ireland, 606 male and 450 female same sex couples said “I do” during that year.   The majority of same sex couples (850 or 80.5%) opted for a civil marriage ceremony while 97 (or 9.2%) couples chose a Humanist ceremony and 73 (or 6.9%) couples had a Spiritualist Union of Ireland ceremony. 

    Although the average age of grooms in an opposite sex marriage was at its highest to date at 35.7 years, the average age of men entering into same sex marriage was higher at 40.5 years.  The average age of brides in an opposite sex marriage was 33.8 in 2016 while the comparable age for brides in a same sex marriage was 41.0 years.

    The warmer months of July and August were the most popular for weddings while the cooler months of January and February were the least popular.

    Fridays and Saturdays continue to be the most popular days to tie the knot, while Sundays and Mondays remain the least popular days of the week to marry.

    The number of opposite sex couples choosing Humanist and Spiritualist Union of Ireland ceremonies is increasing.  A Humanist ceremony was the choice of 1,437 brides and grooms in 2016 while 965 couples opted for the Spiritual Union of Ireland ceremony.  

    Civil marriage ceremonies accounted for 4 out of 5 same sex marriages while over a quarter (25.9%) of opposite sex couples chose a civil marriage ceremony.

    The Roman Catholic ceremony was the most popular choice among opposite sex couples with 12,140 couples opting for this celebration.

    The rate of marriage for opposite sex couples remains relatively stable over time and equates to a crude (unadjusted) marriage rate of 4.6 per 1,000 population in 2016, down 0.2 percentage points from 2015 and 1864 (i.e. the first available Vital Statistics report) when it was 4.8 per 1,000 population”.  

    For further information contact:

    Carol Anne Hennessy (+353) 21 453 5307 or Marie Crowley (+353) 21 453 5016

    or email

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