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Northern Ireland women waiting longer to get married, official figures reveal

By Claire Williamson

Published 02/07/2015

Last year the average age for a bride was 32, with first-time brides waiting until they were 30 before walking down the aisle
Last year the average age for a bride was 32, with first-time brides waiting until they were 30 before walking down the aisle

What's the average age for brides to walk down the aisle for the first time in Northern Ireland?

Well for the first time Northern Ireland brides are waiting longer to get married with the average age of tying the knot at 30-years-old.

Last year the average age for a bride was 32, with first-time brides waiting until they were 30 before walking down the aisle.

Official figures published today for 2014 also showed one marriage takes place every hour on average in Northern Ireland, with August being the most popular month for weddings.

Last year 8,550 marriages were celebrated - up 5.2% on 2013 - with just one in eight brides (12%) aged under 25.

In contrast to ten years ago when 11% of grooms and 22% of brides got hitched when they were aged 25 or younger.

The statistics also revealed that more than half (53%) of couples who wed during 2014 had previously lived together.

The most popular month for weddings was August and Saturday June 21 was the most popular date.

St Eugene's Cathedral in Londonderry hosted the highest number of religious ceremonies while Belfast registrar's office was the most popular venue for civil marriage ceremonies.

The 93rd report of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency’s contains a range of population and vital statistics that fall within the remit of the General Register Office.

It also revealed that 110 civil partnerships were registered with 47 male partnerships and 63 female partnerships - up 10 on 2013.

There were 24,394 births with 12,543 boys and 11,851 girls - of this 43 percent were born outside of marriage.

Births to teenage mothers reached a new record low of 839 while births to mothers age 35 and over continued to rise.

There were slightly more divorces in 2014 than 2013 at a total of 2,455 - with non-cohabitation the most common reason given for ending a marriage making up 69% of the total.

The average length of a marriage ending in divorce was a total of 17 years.

Other key statistics

·   8,550 marriages were registered, equivalent to roughly 1 every hour of the year.

·   110 civil partnerships were registered (47 male partnerships and 63 female partnerships), 10 more than 2013.

·   2,455 divorces and 11 civil partnership dissolutions were granted with non-cohabitation remaining the most frequently recorded reason for separation.

·   In the year to 30 June 2014, the resident population of Northern Ireland rose by 10,800 people to 1,840,500.

·   Of the 24,394 births (12,543 males and 11,851 females) registered, 43 per cent occurred outside of marriage.

·   Births to teenage mothers reached a new record low of 839, whilst births to mothers aged 35 years and over continued to rise.

·   81 stillbirths were registered, 26 per cent fewer than in 2013 and the lowest number ever recorded in Northern Ireland.

·   Of the 14,678 deaths, the leading cause of death was cancer (29 per cent), followed by circulatory disease (25 per cent).

·   Almost 2 out of every 3 deaths were of people aged 75 or over.

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