Already very low, nuptiality declined again slightly in Québec in 2016

Québec, July 5, 2017. – In 2016, approximately 22,000 marriages were celebrated in Québec, down slightly from the previous year. This includes 21,300 opposite-sex marriages and 700 same-sex marriages. The propensity to get married, already very low in the past several years, declined again slightly. If 2016 nuptiality conditions remained constant, only 27% of men and 29% of women would get married at least once before their 50th birthday. In addition, those who get married do so at an increasingly later age. In 2016, the average age at first marriage reached 33.4 years for men and 31.9 years for women. In both cases, this is an increase of about eight years since the early 1970s. These findings on preliminary marriage and nuptiality data in Québec come from Issue 57 of Coup d’œil sociodémographique, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Popularity of marriages celebrated by a designated person continues to grow

Marriages performed by a “designated person,” who can be a friend or family member of the couple or another person of their choice, have continued to grow in popularity since they were first authorized in 2002. In 2016, they accounted for more than one out of four marriages (28%) between opposite-sex spouses. This proportion exceeds that of marriages officiated by a clerk in a courthouse or by a notary, both at 15%. The proportion of marriages celebrated by a minister of religion dropped again, falling to 42%, compared with 71% in 2002. Among same-sex couples, the share of marriages celebrated by a designated person rose to 43% in 2016.


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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