Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 19, 2004
Canadians still prefer marriage by clergy
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
The number of couples who got married in Canada continued to decline in 2001 but more than three-quarters of them were married by clergy, rather than by marriage commissioners or other non-Church officials.
Of the 146,618 marriages performed, 76.4 per cent were officiated by clergy and 23.6 by non-clergy, Statistics Canada reported recently.
However in Ontario, 98.5 per cent of marriages were performed by clergy, while in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and British Columbia, most marriages were performed by non-clergy, the highest rate being in the Yukon at 76.9 per cent.
The agency also said that when it was a first marriage for both the bride and groom, the officiant in 81.6 per cent of the cases was a member of the clergy.
In 2001, there were 146,618 couples married in Canada, a drop from 157,395 in 2000, continuing the downward trend during the 1990s, Statscan reported.
As well, it said Canadians continue to marry later in life.
"On average, brides were 31.9 years old in 2001, up 2.6 years from 1991 and 5.7 years from 1981. The average age of grooms was 34.4 in 2001, an increase of 2.6 years from 1991 and 5.6 years from 1981."
First-time brides had an average age of 28.2. The average age of previously divorced brides was 41.4 and that of previously widowed brides, 56.4.
The average age of first-time grooms reached 30.2 in 2001. Previously divorced grooms were, on average, 45 years old, and previously widowed grooms had an average age of 62.9.
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