The average age at which people in Ireland get married rose to 34.7 years for grooms in 2012 and 32.6 for brides, while the marriage rate has increased slightly compared to the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.
According to the CSO's ‘Vital Statistics: Marriage and Civil Partnerships' report, there were 20,713 marriages registered in 2012, up 4.3% from 2011 when 19,855 couples married. That equates to a marriage rate of 4.5 per 1,000 of the population in 2012, up slightly from 4.3 per 1,000 of the population in 2011.
Ireland’s marriage rate is in line with the EU average but it has fallen by 40% since the early 1970s.
The number of divorces granted also increased by 3% compared to 2011.
The average age of grooms in 2012 was 34.7 years, 0.1 years more than the average age in 2011. In the past fifty years, the average age of grooms went from 30.3 years in 1962 to a low of 26.2 years in 1977, but has increased to a high of 34.7 years in 2012.
The CSO say that a similar trend is evident for brides with the average age decreasing from 26.6 in 1962 to 24.0 in 1977 and increasing to a high of 32.6 in 2012.
There were 429 civil partnership ceremonies in 2012, down from 536 in 2011, the first year in which civil partnerships were available.