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Rise in the number of marriages and divorces in Ireland

Recent data from the Irish Central Statistics Office has revealed a 9.2% increase in the number of people who married in 2011, compared to 2006.

The data also shows that over the fifteen years since 1996 the proportion of the population aged 15 years and over who were divorced grew significantly from 0.4% in 1996 (9,787 people) to 2.4% (87,770) in 2011.

Over three quarters of separated and divorced men (77.9%) were living in households with no children, in contrast to 44.5% of their female counterparts.

The fall in the average number of children per family in recent years – from 2.0 children in 1991 to 1.8 in 1996, to 1.6 in 2002 and 1.4 in 2006 – has levelled off to remain at just below 1.4 in 2011. The high number of births between 2006 and 2011 (363,500 births) was a contributing factor in this slowdown.

Rural families were larger on average than those in urban areas. The average number of children per family was 1.5 in rural areas, compared with 1.3 for their urban counterparts. Cohabiting couples with children had an average of 1.74 children, while the figure for married couples was 2.09 children.

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