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Weddings and warm weather go together

Embargoed until 10:45am – 6 May 2008

Weddings and warm weather go together

Summer months remained the preferred time to wed in the year ended December 2007, with 43 percent of marriages occurring in the first three months, Statistics New Zealand said today. Saturday 24 February was the most popular day for weddings in 2007. In contrast, only 13 percent of marriages registered in 2007 took place in June, July and August. There was one day within these winter months that was popular with marrying couples – more than three times the number of marriages were celebrated on Saturday 7 July 2007 (or 07/07/07) than in an average Saturday in July.

There were 21,500 marriages registered to New Zealand residents in 2007 compared with 21,400 in 2006 and 20,500 in 2005. In addition, 2,000 marriages were registered to overseas residents in 2007, the same number as in 2006 and 2005. Overseas residents marrying in New Zealand include wedding tourists and expat New Zealanders returning to celebrate their marriage with friends and family.

While the number of marriages has been relatively stable, the marriage rate has dropped. The general marriage rate (marriages per 1,000 unmarried adults) was 13.6 in 2007, down from 15.7 in 1997. The latest rate is less than one-third of the peak level of 45.5 per 1,000 recorded in 1971.

There were 316 civil unions registered to New Zealand residents in 2007. These comprised 253 same-sex unions (103 male and 150 female) and 63 opposite-sex unions. There were 77 civil unions registered to overseas residents, making a total of 393 registrations.

In 2007, a total of 9,600 marriage dissolution orders (divorces) were granted by the Family Court. Roughly one-quarter of those who divorced had been married for 5–9 years. Analysis of divorce statistics by year of marriage shows that about one-third of New Zealanders who married in 1982 had divorced before their silver wedding anniversary (25 years).

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician

6 May 2008


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