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Background Notes

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These statistics have been compiled from the marriage registration forms of all marriages registered in the Republic of Ireland in 2021.

The release has been prepared by the Central Statistics Office for the Minister for Social Protection in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of the Vital Statistics and Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, 1952.


Where the weekday and month of a marriage are specified in this release, it refers to the date on which the marriage occurred.  Note that some marriages registered in 2021 (and hence included in these statistics) occurred in years before 2021.

Form of Ceremony

Marriages celebrated according to the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church, the rites and ceremonies of the Church of Ireland, the forms and disciplines of the Presbyterian Church and The Spiritualist Union of Ireland. Civil Marriage and The Humanist Association have been classified under their respective ceremony.  The usages of certain other Religious Bodies have been classified under 'other religious'.  (Tables 1, 31, 3B, 4A, 4B and Figure 2). 

Area of Residence

One classification of district is available: that in which the marriage took place.

Age Specific Marriage Rates

The age specific marriage rates are calculated as follows:

Age Specific Rate = Number of Males (or Females) of that age whose marriages were registered multiplied by 1,000 and divided by Population of Males (or Females) of that age. 

This is calculated for each year as follows:

Marriages per 1,000 population = Number of Marriages registered multiplied by 1,000 and divided by population.  The 2021 usual residence population is 5,011,460. 

Table 2, provides age specific marriage rates in respect of males and females in opposite-sex marriages and also provides rates for all male same-sex and all female same-sex marriages in preference to rates for all marriages from 2021.

Usual residence population concept.

For the purpose of this release the population concept of usual residence has been used, i.e. all persons usually resident and present in the State on census night plus absent persons who are usually resident in Ireland but are temporarily away from home and outside the State on census night.  All persons are classified according to their region of usual residence. 

Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

The Marriage Act 2015 (No 35/2015) effective from the 16th November 2015 (S.I 504/15 refers) allows parties of the same-sex to marry. 

New NUTS2 and NUTS3 regional Authority areas - January 2018

From 1st January 2018 an Amendment of the EU NUTS legislation came into effect.  This reflects the new regional assembly structure and the other changes to the Local Government Act for Tipperary North, Tipperary South, Limerick City and County, Waterford City and County.  The composition of the new Regions breakdown is outlined below.  

Northern and Western regions Eastern and Midland regions
Border Cavan Dublin Dublin City 
  Donegal   Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
  Leitrim   Fingal
  Monaghan   South Dublin
  Sligo Mid-East  Kildare
West Galway City   Meath
  Galway County   Wicklow
  Mayo Midland Laois
  Roscommon   Longford
  Southern Regions    
South-East Carlow  Mid-West Clare
  Kilkenny    Tipperary
  Waterford City and County   Limerick City and County
  Wexford South-West  Cork City
      Cork County

EU Countries

EU14 excl. IRL: Countries before enlargement on 1 May 2004 (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Portugal). Formerly referred to as "EU13".

EU14 to 27: defined as 10 countries that joined the EU on 01 May 2004 (i.e. Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia), along with Bulgaria and Romania who joined on 01 January 2007 and Croatia who joined on the 01 July 2013 to EU14-27 states 

Statistical Disclosure Control

Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) refers to methods that allow the dissemination of statistical information while ensuring that individuals are protected
against disclosure. The key challenge in SDC is achieving this protection while ensuring that information loss is kept to a minimum.

In recent years the CSO has faced both increasing demand for statistics from users and stakeholders and increasing obligations to ensure the confidentiality
of statistical data. In particular, with the advent of the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), there is a new requirement for the
CSO to ensure that “appropriate safeguards” are in place for statistical data. This is in addition to the existing legal obligations of the CSO, under the
Statistics Act, to preserve the confidentiality of respondents. These safeguards include both methods to ensure the protection and confidentiality of data
during the storage and processing stage as well as the importance of insuring that published data is non-disclosive.

There is a danger with tabular output, both from administrative and survey sources, that if tables are sufficiently detailed, then there may be a significant
risk of individuals being identified.

What is disclosure?
Disclosure is when data issued by the CSO, allows users to learn previously unknown information about respondents, be they individuals or organisations.

There are two main types of disclosure risk:
• Identity disclosure - if a respondent can be identified with a disseminated data record or table entry containing confidential information.
For example, if a table showed that there was 1 marriage of a certain ceremony form in a particular county, then a person could identify the
individuals involved from the table.
• Attribute disclosure – this refers to the case where a person could determine the attributes of an individual based on information in the released
data. As a hypothetical example, if a table disclosed that all individuals in a particular location commuted for four hours a day, then an intruder
would know that attribute about all residents in that location.

Disclosure events are classified into primary or secondary disclosure.
• Primary disclosure – When an unsafe cell is published.
• Secondary disclosure – if an unsafe cell is removed, but its value can be deduced from the aggregate totals and the other non-suppressed values.


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