Gay men and women are getting married in their 40s, research shows
Same-sex couples leave marriage until later in life, research has revealed.
Data on couples in Ireland tying the knot shows the average age of gay men and women taking matrimonial vows is 40 and 41, compared with 35 and 33 for men and women in heterosexual relationships.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed there were 1,056 same-sex marriages last year, the first full year there are figures for, and 606 of those involved men and 450 women.
Some 481 of them took place in Greater Dublin while in Roscommon there were only two.
There were 21,570 marriages of men and women last year, compared with 22,025 for 2015.
The CSO reported that July was the most popular month for heterosexual marriages, while gay couples preferred September.
Sunday is the least popular day for a wedding.
It was also noted that divorce is on the increase. Figures from 2015 showed 3,289 divorces were granted by the courts, up 660 on the number of officially recognised break-ups in the previous year.
Over the past 50 years, the average age of grooms initially fell, from 29 years in 1966 to a low of 26 years in 1977, before gradually increasing to a high of just over 35 and a half last year.
Similarly, the average age of a bride fell from 25 in 1966 to 24 in 1977 and then increased to a high of 33.8 last year.
Religious ceremonies still play a major part in marriage in Ireland, with faith-based weddings accounting for almost two-thirds of all those that took place in 2016.
The CSO said there were 12,140 Catholic marriages, 1,038 ceremonies in the Spiritualist Union of Ireland, 372 in the Church of Ireland and 69 Presbyterian.
Some 1,534 couples had Humanist ceremonies, up almost 200 on the previous year, and c ivil ceremonies accounted with 6,438 of all marriages.
For same-sex couples, the CSO said 80% were civil ceremonies with another 97 performed by the Humanist Association of Ireland and 73 in the Spiritualist Union of Ireland.