Québec, July 14, 2015 – According to preliminary data, 22,410 marriages were performed in Québec in 2014. There were 21,832 opposite-sex marriages and 578 same-sex marriages. These numbers are down slightly from the previous year. The propensity of Quebecers to get married, which has been very low for the past several years, once again showed signs of weakening. If 2014 nuptiality conditions remain constant, only 27% of men and 30% of women are expected to marry at least once before their 50th birthday. These findings come from the newsletter Coup d’œil sociodémographique, issue 41, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
Marriage is not only less frequent than before, it also happens at a later age. In 2014, the average age at first marriage was 33.0 years for men and 31.6 years for women. It has increased by about 7 and 8 years respectively compared with the early 1970s.
The share of religious marriages—those performed by ministers of religion from various denominations—is still on the decline. In 2014, they represented 45% of all opposite-sex marriages. However, marriages celebrated by a “designated person”, who can be a friend or family member of the couple, gained in popularity. Although they didn’t exist before 2002, they accounted for nearly a quarter (23%) of all opposite-sex marriages in 2014. This proportion exceeded that of unions solemnized by a clerk in a courthouse (17%) or by a notary (14%). Among same-sex couples, designated persons (37%) were the most popular choice of officiant, before both clerks and notaries (24% each). Ministers of religion performed 15% of same-sex marriages.
The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.
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