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Marriages 2021 Main Results

Open in Excel:
Headline Table Marriages 2019 - 2021
  201920202021
Number of Marriages: Opposite-Sex19,6739,20916,717
 Same-Sex640314500
 All Marriages20,3139,52317,217
     
All Marriages rate per 1,000 population 4.11.93.4
     
Average Age of Groom (Opposite-Sex Marriage) 36.837.837.4
Average Age of Bride (Opposite-Sex Marriage) 34.835.735.4
Average Age of Male (Same-Sex Marriage) 39.840.040.4
Average Age of Female (Same-Sex Marriage) 39.340.039.9
X-axis labelAll MarriagesOpposite-Sex MarriagesSame-Sex Marriages
20172202121262759
20182105320389664
20192031319673640
202095239209314
20211721716717500

In 2021 there were 500 same-sex marriages, 252 male and 248 female.

There were 16,717 opposite-sex marriages in 2021. The average age of grooms was 37.4, 0.4 years less than in 2020. The average age of grooms dropped from 27.5 in 1971 to 26.8 in 1981 and increased to 37.4 in 2021. There is a similar trend for the average age of brides, falling from 25.0 in 1971 to 24.7 in 1981 before rising to 35.4 in 2021.

There were 17,217 marriages (opposite and same-sex) in 2021 compared with 9,523 in 2020, an increase of 7,694. This increase is reflective of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and their impact on marriage numbers in 2020, where they fell by 53% from 20,313 in 2019 to 9,523 in 2020. There were 3.4 marriages per 1,000 population in 2021, up from 1.9 in 2020. Almost 3 in every 100 marriages (2.9%) were same-sex in 2021.

In 2021, religious ceremonies accounted for 57% of all marriages. There were 6,721 (39%) Catholic marriage ceremonies, 192 (1.1%) Church of Ireland ceremonies, The Spiritualist Union of Ireland performed 1,380 (8.0%) ceremonies and 1,475 (8.6%) couples opted for other religious ceremonies. The majority of non-religious ceremonies were civil marriages which accounted for 35% (5,987) of all marriages; the remaining 1,462 (8.5%) couples had Humanist ceremonies. See table 1 and figure 2.

%
Civil
Marriages
34.8
Humanist
Association
8.5
Other
Religious
8.6
Roman
Catholic
39
Spiritualist
Union
of Ireland
8
Church
of Ireland
1.1
58%
Percentage of opposite-sex couples opting for religious ceremonies.

Over half of all opposite-sex marriages were religious ceremonies in 2021. There were 6,721 (40%) Catholic services, 1,321 (7.9%) by the Spiritualist Union, 192 (1.1%) in Church of Ireland ceremonies and 38 (0.2%) Presbyterian services. 1,392 (8.3%) were held under other religious denominations. Civil marriages accounted for 5,659 (34%) while the remaining 1,394 (8.3 %) were services held by the Humanist Association.

66%
Percentage of same-sex couples having civil ceremonies in 2021.

Two in three (66%) same-sex marriages were civil ceremonies in 2021. 68 (14%) services were held by the Humanist Association, 59 (12%) by the Spiritualist Union of Ireland and 45 (9.0%) by other religious denominations.

 

August
The most popular month for all marriages in 2021.

August was the most popular month for opposite-sex marriages in 2021

In 2021, the most popular month for opposite-sex marriages was August while in 2020 it was December. One in seven marriages (15%) in 2021 were in August while one in three (30%) took place in the last three months of the year. 502 (3.0%) marriages took place in January, the least popular month to wed in 2021.

Friday and Saturday were the most popular days of the week to get married in 2021 with 9,696 (58%) of opposite-sex marriages taking place on these days. The least popular day was Sunday when 596 (3.6%) of marriages in 2021 took place.

6th August was the most popular date for opposite-sex marriages in 2021 with 203 (1.2%) ceremonies taking place on this date. This was followed by the 20th August with 194 (1.2%) ceremonies taking place on this date.

September was the most popular month for same-sex marriages in 2021

In 2021, the most popular month for same-sex marriages was September, while in 2020, it was February. One in seven marriages (14%) in 2021 were in September, one in four (26%) took place in the last three months of the year. 19 (3.8%) marriages took place in January, the least popular month in 2021.

Friday 17th September was the most popular date for same-sex marriages in 2021 with 8 (1.6%) ceremonies taking place on this date. This was followed by Friday 23rd July with 7 (1.4%) ceremonies taking place on this date.

EU marriage

In 2019, (most recent available data) Cyprus had the highest crude (unadjusted) marriage rate of the EU27 Member States with a rate of 8.9 per 1,000 population. Italy had the lowest rate, with 3.1 marriages per 1,000 population. In 2019, Ireland had a marriage rate of 4.1 per thousand population and was ranked 18th in the EU27 Member States. In comparison, 2020 saw Ireland drop more than half the 2019 rate to a decreased rate of 1.9 per thousand population before rising again in 2021 to a rate of 3.4. See figure 3.

Marriages 2021 Figure 3
EU - 28Marriage Rate
Cyprus8.9
Lithuania7
Latvia6.7
Hungary6.7
Romania6.6
Slovakia5.4
Denmark5.3
Malta5.3
Austria5.2
Czech Republic5.1
Germany5
Estonia5
Croatia4.9
Poland4.8
Sweden4.7
Greece4.4
Bulgaria4.2
Ireland (2019)4.1
Ireland (2020)1.9
Ireland (2021)3.4
Finland4
Belgium3.9
Netherlands3.7
France (2018)3.5
Spain3.5
Luxembourg3.5
Portugal3.2
Slovenia3.2
Italy3.1

Divorces granted in 2020

For the numbers of divorces and judicial separations granted in 2020 (the most recent data available) see attached link:  (Courts Service Annual Report 2020).  The section on Family Law (pg. 56 onwards) contains this information.

Population

The estimated population (usual residence) in April 2021 was 5,011,460.

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.  From the 16th November 2015, when same-sex marriage legislation came into effect, same-sex couples no longer had the option to apply for a Civil Partnership.  

Show Table: Table 1 Summary data for marriages 2016-2021

Show Table: Table 2 Age specific marriage rates, 2020 and 2021

Show Table: Table 3A Marriages of opposite-sex couples registered in 2021 classified according to age of groom/age of bride and form of ceremony

Show Table: Table 3B Same-Sex Marriages registered in 2021 classified according to age of older party/younger party and form of ceremony, listing male same-sex marriages and female same-sex marriages separately

Show Table: Table 4A Marriages of opposite-sex couples registered in 2021 celebrated in each county and city classified by form of ceremony

Show Table: Table 4B Same-Sex marriages registered in 2021 celebrated in each county and city classified by sex and form of ceremony

Show Table: Table 5A Marriages of opposite-sex couples registered in 2021 classified by month and day of week of marriage

Show Table: Table 5B Same-Sex Marriages registered in 2021 classified by month and day of week of marriage

Show Table: Table 6A Marriages of opposite-sex couples registered in 2021 classified by nationality of bride and of groom

Show Table: Table 6B Same-sex marriages registered in 2021 classified by nationality according to older party/younger party, listing male and female same-sex marriages separately

Go to next chapter>>> Background Notes.