The average age of Irish brides and grooms in opposite sex marriages is the highest recorded to date, continuing a trend of people deciding to marry later in life. The average age of the groom has increased by 8.1 years since 1987 and the average age of the bride has increased by 9.3 years, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
In the last five years, the average age of the groom has risen by 1.4 years and the average age of the bride has risen by 1.5 years, according to the CSO.
The CSO figures show the average age for same sex marriages decreased from 2016 to 2017. In 2016, the average age of males in same sex marriages was 40.5 compared to 40.3 in 2017. The average age of females in same sex marriages in 2016 was 41.0 and dropped to 40.5 in 2017.
The marriage rate in Ireland is down 0.2 per 1,000 population since 2016. There were 605 less marriages in 2017 than in 2016. There were 759 same sex marriages in 2017 and 21,262 opposite sex marriages. In 2017, Just over a half of all opposite sex marriages were Roman Catholic ceremonies (52.8 percent) and July and August were the most popular months to wed.
Over the last 30 years, the average age for first time mothers has increased by 4.8 years, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). In 1987, the average age of first time mothers was 26.2, compared with 31.0 in 2017.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) looked at reproductive trends in 200 countries for a report published last month. It found that Ireland has the fourth highest average age of childbearing in Europe, after Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Luxembourg. Outside Europe, Ireland’s average age for childbearing is beaten only by Libya, Korea, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong.