In New Zealand, the Number of weddings falls to an all-time low

Marriage rates have fallen so far in the past 40 years that what was once an institution is now largely a symbolic gesture.

A record low 20,900 marriages took place last year, less than one-third of the number in 1971 and one half of the 1987 rate, figures from Statistics NZ reveal.

And Victoria University anthropology senior lecturer Diane O’Rourke sees no chance of those numbers heading back up again.

“People don’t need to get married any more to make a living or raise children. You have to specifically want to be married.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Marriage & Family

3 comments on “In New Zealand, the Number of weddings falls to an all-time low

  1. MargaretG says:

    I have no doubt that marriage has gone out of fashion, but our statistics dept press release is not exactly helpful. In addition to a low marriage rate, we also have an aging population — so I would like to know how the marriage rate is going adjusted for age (20 and 30 year olds are much more likely to marry than 80 or 90 year olds). Of course getting an overview is a bit difficult given the census had to be cancelled as it was going to be held a fortnight or so after the big Christchurch earthquake.

    Of interest to this blog is the statistic of Civil Unions for same sex couples compared to the marriage rate. The average over the five complete years since Civil Unions were introduced is 1.1% ie for every 1000 marriages there were 11 same sex civil unions. (This figure ignores those for people domiciled overseas who come to NZ to take advantage of our civil union laws).

    Given NZ is very “gay-friendly” and civil unions have been around for a reasonable time now, this suggests to me that this is about the ratio of committed homosexual couples to committed heterosexual couples.

    The ratio of 1000:11 may explain why holding out the welcoming mat has not led to the rapid inflow of people that was predicted. It certainly suggests that the sometimes quoted Kinsley estimate of 10% of the population being homosexual (which would suggest a ratio of nearer 1000:100 was wildly out).

    The other interesting thing from our statistics is that female:female couples are 60% of the total.

  2. Caedmon says:

    I love the Kiwis, but it is evident both from my observation of them from afar and my experience among them that they have sold out big time to the “morality” of the liberal/left.

  3. Terry Tee says:

    Just a word of thanks from this reader to MargaretG for interesting statistical analysis. This site is at its best when we hear from people who are experts in their field, or at least very well informed.