Belfast Telegraph

Marriages, Divorces and Civil Partnerships in Northern Ireland (2012)

Stormont Executive press releases - Department of Finance and Personnel

Last year more than 8,400 marriages took place in Northern Ireland, whilst the number of divorces recorded was just over 2,400. These findings are in provisional 2012 marriage, divorce and civil partnership statistics released today by the Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

    Other key findings include:
  • over the last decade, civil ceremonies have become increasingly popular. Last year saw almost one third (31%) of all marriages celebrated by a civil ceremony – in total 2,626 out of 8,480 marriages were by civil ceremony;
  • the average age of brides and grooms continues to be approximately five years older than their counterparts two decades ago. Last year the “average” groom was nearly 34 years old and the “average” bride almost 32;
  • Saturday 25 August 2012 was the most popular day to get married last year, with just over 113 couples getting married on that date;
  • in 2012 just over 2,440 divorces were finalised in Northern Ireland, less than the peak of 2,913 recorded in 2007; and
  • last year there were 101 same-sex civil partnerships registered.

    Dr David Marshall from NISRA said: “Last year saw more than 8,400 marriages in Northern Ireland. An interesting point is that around one quarter of those took place outside a religious building or registry office in an Approved Venue. Civil marriages at such venues only became possible following a change in the law in 2004.”

    Notes to editors:

    1. This information can also be accessed on the NISRA website at:

    2. Interactive Maps showing marriage statistics ( and divorce statistics ( for the 26 Local Councils are available on the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service website:

    3. Marriage and civil partnership figures have been compiled from returns to local registrars. All 2012 statistics are provisional until final figures are published in the Annual Report of the Registrar General.

    4. The figures on divorces and civil partnership dissolutions have been compiled from returns of ‘Decrees made Absolute’ supplied by the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service and include nullities of marriage. Information on the number of Decree Nisis is published by the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service. A Decree Nisis does not terminate the marriage; a couple is still married until the Decree Absolute has been granted.

    5. The results are based on analysis of all marriages, divorces and civil partnerships registered within the 2012 calendar year. This is not necessarily the year these events will have occurred (e.g. a marriage that occurred in December 2012 may not have been registered until January 2013).

    6. Marriage and divorce rates for 2012 are calculated using the 2012 mid-year population estimate.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph