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Statistics show marriage may be back in vogue after long decline

Jun 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Most Popular, News

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MARRIAGE may be coming back into fashion.

Last year more New Zealand couples decided to tie-the-knot, ending a steady decline in marriage rates.

Statistics New Zealand shows an 8.8 percent rise in the marriage rates of New Zealanders for the year ending in December 2014, compared to the previous year.

Prior to 2014 marriage rates of New Zealand residents had been dropping since 1989.

A total of 20,125 New Zealand marriages took place last year, rising from 19,237 the year before.

Of the 20,125 marriages in 2014, 486 were same-sex marriages.

Celebrants spoken to by Newswire said that the rise was due to gay marriage being legalised in New Zealand.

However, same-sex marriage only accounts for half of the rise.

When asked why more Kiwi couples were tying the knot, local celebrant Rachel Dudfield said the weddings she had performed were not spontaneous acts of love.

All of the couples Rachel has worked with have been together for a minimum of three years, with the longest being 18 years.

She also performs many second marriages.

“Around half of the weddings I’m performing are second marriages,” says Rachel.

She suggests the idea of marriage had gone out of fashion and New Zealanders were content with living together, but recently the tides have turned and marriage is back on the table.

“The thing to do now is to get married,” she says.

The most marriages in New Zealand occurred in 1984 when 25,272 residents wed.

Former Celebrants Association president Elizabeth Bennett says several factors affected the number of marriages.

“If you compare the rate of marriage 20 years ago to now, it’s decreased,” she said.

“A lot of people are delaying when they get married. Women are having a more prominent role in the workforce, people travel more than they used to and so on.”

The divorce rate has also dropped in the last 10 years.

In 2014, 8171 divorces were passed by the Family Court, dropping from 8279 in 2013.

The drop equates to 9.1 divorces for every 1000 estimated existing marriages and civil unions in 2014.

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