One marriage in four celebrated by a “designated person” in Québec in 2015

Québec, July 5, 2016 – In 2015, about 22 400 marriages were celebrated in Québec, a number similar to that from the previous year. This comprises 21 800 opposite-sex marriages and 600 same-sex marriages. Marriages celebrated by a “designated person,” who could be a friend or family member of the couple, continues to be increasingly popular. They account for a quarter of opposite-sex marriages in 2015, though they were non-existent before 2002. This proportion exceeds those of marriages officiated by a clerk in a courthouse (16%) or notary (14%). The proportion of religious marriages (those celebrated by a minister) has dropped again to 44%, compared to 71% in 2002. Among same-sex couples, a designated person remains the most popular choice of officiant, corresponding to 37% of marriages in 2015. These findings on preliminary marriage and nuptiality data in Québec are drawn from Issue 49 of Coup d’œil sociodémographique, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Quebecers are marrying less frequently and later

The propensity of Quebecers to get married has been very low for several years. If 2015 nuptiality conditions remain constant, only 27% of men and 30% of women would get married at least once before their 50th birthday. While people marry less frequently, they also do so later in life. The average age for a first marriage has gone up again in 2015 to 33.3 years for men and 31.8 years for women. In both cases, this is an increase of about 8 years since the early 1970s.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. 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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