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Only 40% of Irish weddings were Catholic in 2022

Catholic Couple just married

khamiak | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 05/01/23

Irish Catholic weddings surged, with 2,655 more Catholic weddings in 2022 than in 2021, but still only rose by 1%.

New data released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) has found that only two-in-five couples that married in 2022 chose to do so within the Catholic Church. While the portion of Catholic marriages on the Emerald Isle was only seen to rise by one percent, the total number of Catholic marriages was thousands higher than last year.

In 2022, Ireland saw 23,173 couples marry, which is up significantly from the 17,217 couples who were joined together in 2021. The Journal, which provides the CSO’s numbers, notes that this increase of 35% suggests there were many couples who did not feel comfortable holding nuptial ceremonies during the COVID-19 crisis. The overall number of marriages, however, also exceeds the pre-pandemic figures of 2019 by 14%. 

Of all Irish weddings in 2022, only 64% were celebrated as religious ceremonies. Of these, Catholic weddings were the most prominent, accounting for a solid 40% of all Irish weddings, which is up by 1 point from 2021. According to the CSO’s 2021 report, however, there were only 6,721 Catholic weddings, while 2022 saw 9,376 Catholic couples tie the knot. 

No other single religion came close to the rate of Catholic weddings in Ireland, last year. The Church of Ireland only accounted for 1.8% of the total, and the Spiritualist Union of Ireland was a bit higher at 9.9%. It was noted that 13% of Irish couples opted for a ceremony in an “other” faith. Non-religious civil ceremonies accounted for 26% of 2022 weddings, while 9.3% of couples had Humanist ceremonies. 

The average age of both brides and grooms was also found to have risen. In 2019, the average age of an Irish groom was 36.8, but by 2022 it had risen to 37.4. Irish brides tend to be a little younger than their grooms, with their average age standing at 35.4, up from 34.8 in 2019. The most popular day to be married in Ireland is Saturday, followed by Friday. 

Read more statistics on Irish marriage rates at the Journal.

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