Belfast Telegraph

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Women waiting longer to get married

Published 02/07/2015

The average age for a bride was 32, with first-time brides waiting until they were 30
The average age for a bride was 32, with first-time brides waiting until they were 30

Women in Northern Ireland are waiting longer than ever to get married, according to official figures.

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

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

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) found grooms were on average 34, with only one in 15 under 25.

A decade ago 22% of brides and 11% of grooms tied the knot when they were 25 or younger.

O ver half (53%) of couples who wed during 2014 said they had previously lived together.

August was the most popular month for weddings 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 saw the most civil marriages.

There were also 110 civil partnerships - 47 male and 63 female - a rise of 10 on the previous year.

The number of divorces was 2,455, slightly more than in 2013 when 2,403 couples split, but lower than the peak number of 2,913 in 2007.

A further 11 civil partnership dissolutions were granted.

Non-cohabitation was the most common reason given for ending a marriage, accounting for 69% of the total.

During 2014, the average length of marriage ending in divorce was 17 years.

The NISRA figures also show that 24,394 births - 12,543 boys and 11,851 girls - were registered during the year, and almost half (43%) occurred outside marriage.

Births to teenage mothers reached a record low of 839, while the number of children born to older mothers continued to rise.

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