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Kiwis marrying and divorcing considerably less than 25 years ago - new stats reveal

Kiwis are marrying and divorcing considerably less than they were 25 years ago, but married couples are staying together for longer too, new stats reveal. 

A same-sex wedding cake

While the total number of New Zealanders marriages has remained at around 20,000 each year since 1992, the actually marriage rate has dropped.

This is due to the increased population size in New Zealand in that time, which means the general marriage rate has dropped.

In 1992, the marriage rate was 18.3 couples per 1,000 people eligible to marry (or form a civil union from 2005), dropping to 10.9 couples in 2017.

Likewise, the divorce rate among Kiwis has also dropped over the last 25 years.

In 2017, there were 8,001 divorces and the divorce rate (number of divorces per 1,000 existing marriages) was 8.4. In 1992, 9,114 couples were granted a divorce, and the divorce rate was 11.9.

The median age to get married or enter a civil union in New Zealand has also risen - to 32 years for men and 31 years for women.

In 1992 those ages were 29 and 27 years for men and women, respectively.

In 2017, the median age at divorce was 47 years for men and 44 years for women. This compares with 39 years for men and 36 years for women in 1992.

Couples are also staying married for longer (for those who end up getting a divorce).

In 2017, the median duration of marriages and civil unions ending in divorce was at its highest in the last 25 years – 14 years, compared with 12 years in 1992.

Couples that married in 1992 had a 1 in 5 chance of being divorced within a decade. That rose to an almost 2 in 5 chance of divorce within 25 years of getting married.