Marriage decrease in 2015‚ divorces also show a decline: Stats SA
There were 138,267 civil marriages recorded in 2015‚ a decrease of 8‚1% from the 150,852 marriages recorded in 2014‚ Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Wednesday.
The Marriages and Divorces statistical release for 2015 found that the highest number of marriages was recorded in 2008 at 186,522 marriages and the lowest number in 2015.
The majority of the marriages in 2015 for both bridegrooms and brides were first-time marriages.
For bridegrooms‚ there were 113,891 (82‚2%) bachelors‚ 5,034 (3‚6%) divorcees and 1,439 (1‚0%) widowers.
For the brides‚ 120,274 (86‚8%) were spinsters while 3,317 (2‚4%) were divorcees and 1,173 (0‚8%) were widows.
Despite the fact that men tend to marry younger women‚ data indicated that in 2015‚ 21,607 (15‚6%) of bridegrooms were younger than their brides‚ while 10,751 (7‚8%) were of the same age as their brides.
For the first time‚ the median ages for bachelors and spinsters were 34 years and 30 years respectively in 2015.
However‚ Stats SA showed that 1,690 bridegrooms over the age of 70 got married in 2015 and 568 women got married during the same year.
StatsSA said of the 138 marriages registered in 2015‚ only 6 men were below the age of 18‚ while 77 brides were below this age.
Minors require the consent of a parent‚ a guardian or a Commissioner of Welfare before entering into a marriage.
Stats SA also said it received 25,260 completed divorce forms that were processed by the end of December 2016.
The number (25,260) indicates an increase of 571 (2‚3%) divorces from the 24,689 cases processed in 2014.
Stats SA said the total number of divorces generally fluctuated between 2003 to 2010‚ then increased from 2011 to 2015‚ with the highest number observed in 2005 (32,484) and the lowest in 2011 (20,980).
It found that 12,016 of the 2015 divorce cases were from marriages that were solemnised by religious rites and 11,077 by civil rites.
Data also revealed that there were fewer divorces among the younger (less than 25 years old) and the older (65 years and older) divorcees.
“For males‚ the peak age group at divorce was 40 to 44 for all population groups‚ except for the coloured population group where the highest peak was from the age group 45 to 49 years.
“In the case of females‚ the peak age group for coloured and white population groups was 40 to 44 years and the peak for black African and Indian/Asian population groups was 35 to 39 years‚” Stats SA said.