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19,237 resident marriages registered in 2013

19,237 resident marriages registered in 2013

5 May 2014

There were 19,237 marriages registered to New Zealand residents in 2013, including 209 same-sex marriages, Statistics New Zealand said today. A further 2,416 marriages were registered to overseas residents, including 146 same-sex marriages.

"Around 2 in 5 same-sex marriages in New Zealand are registered to couples from overseas, compared with 1 in 9 for opposite-sex marriages," population statistics manager Vina Cullum said.

The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 defined marriage as the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This led to the first same-sex marriages in New Zealand on 19 August 2013.

There were also 187 civil unions registered to New Zealand residents, and an additional 46 to overseas residents. The number of same-sex civil unions almost halved compared with the previous year, but opposite-sex civil unions were constant for both resident and overseas couples.

In 2013, 8,279 married couples divorced. Just over one-third (35 percent) of couples who married in 1988 had divorced before their silver wedding anniversary (25 years).

In New Zealand, an application for divorce can be made by either partner on the grounds that the marriage or civil union has broken down irreconcilably, provided a two-year separation requirement is satisfied. However, couples may be separated for longer than two years before divorcing or may separate and never formally divorce.

Other statistics on marriages, civil unions, and divorces released today indicate that there were:

• 19,237 resident marriages in 2013, dropping below 20,000 for the first time since 2001
• 187 resident civil unions registered, of which 65 percent were same-sex unions
• 46 civil unions registered to overseas residents, of which 83 percent were same-sex unions
• 2,642 resident civil unions registered in New Zealand up until the end of 2013, with 164 civil unions dissolved
• 8,279 orders for dissolution of marriage granted in New Zealand, down from 8,785 in 2012
• 9.4 divorces for every 1,000 estimated existing marriages in New Zealand.

For more information about these statistics:
Marriages, Civil Unions, and Divorces: Year ended December 2013

Information release (PDF)
Tables (Excel)

ENDS

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