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NZ marriage rates continue to fall

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/05/2016

Marriage may have a nice ring to it but New Zealanders are less enamoured.

There were 19,947 marriages and civil unions last year, around 250 less than in 2014, with the general marriage rate falling to a new low of 11.1 per 1,000 unmarried people aged 16 or older.

It's about a quarter of the 1971 heyday of 45.5.

But it's not all bad news as New Zealand continues to be a destination for overseas gay couples to tie the knot, with nearly half of the same-sex couples married here having no links to the country.

Overseas same-sex couples was one of the few areas where marriage numbers increased in 2015.

Couples are generally getting married for the first time when they're older in New Zealand, with the median age for men being 30.2-years-old when they tie the knot while the female median is 28.8.

Thirty years ago, the median ages for men and women were 25.5 and 23.4 respectively.

On the flip side, the number of divorces has slightly increased in the past 12 months to 8,520 with just over one in three marriages ending in divorce according to Statistics NZ.


Marriages and civil unions - 19,947

Divorces - 8,520

Same-sex marriages and civil unions - 471

Median length of marriage at time of divorce - 13.7 years

Overseas residents married in NZ - 2,910

Source: Statistics NZ

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