ROGER SAUVÉ – Life Trends – Facts And Figures That Matter To You – Wedding Bells? Less than half of single people will marry before the age of 50 – Summerstown Ontario – March 8, 2010

ROGER SAUVÉ – Life Trends – Facts And Figures That Matter To You – Wedding Bells? Less than half of single people will marry before the age of 50

Spring is almost here … and love and weddings are not far behind.

Have you found that special someone out there that you would like to spend the rest of your life with … and the feeling is mutual?

And so what are the odds that you will actually get legally married before you turn 50? Back in 1981, a single person had a 65% chance of getting married before the age of 50 and it was exactly the same for both men and women. According to the latest estimates from Statistics Canada, single women now have a 46% chance of getting married and single men have a 44% chance of getting married before the age of 50.

And so why are the odds so low? More and more of the younger generation are now choosing to live together in common-law relationships. Among those aged 25-29, about one-quarter are now living common-law and the trend is accelerating. Even so, at this age, another one-quarter are already legally married.

One survey, by sociologist Reginald Bibby, found that the top five characteristics that we look for in a partner are honesty, kindness, respect, compatibility and humour. These all sound like pretty good choices to me. Most of us end up in some kind of relationship.

July and August (about 40% of all weddings occur in those months) are the three prime months for weddings with June and September not far behind. About 70% of marriages take place on a Saturday.

Currently, about two-thirds of marriages are between first-time brides and first-time grooms, 12% are between previously divorced brides and grooms, 1% are between widows and widowers with the rest being between various combinations of brides and grooms.

The typical first marriage now has a groom aged 30.5 years and a bride aged 28.5 years. For both brides and grooms, the average age is up by more than five years compared to three decades ago. For same-sex couples, the average age is 41 for males and 40 for females.

The average age of marriage for divorced grooms is 46.1 years and 42.9 years for divorced brides. These ages rise to 63.1 years for widowers and 56.9 for widows. The age difference between grooms and brides rises from exactly two years for first-timers, to 3.2 years for previously divorced and to 6.5 years for widowed persons. It would be interesting to get your comments on this trend.

The average wedding in Canada now costs about $25,000 but the range can run from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Possible costs include wedding rings, photographers, a chapel, an officiant (that is the person that legally asks you to say yes or no), an organist, a reception, a rehearsal dinner, food, clothes, flowers, and perhaps even a horse drawn carriage. And yes, the honeymoon.

This is not to discourage you, but, according to Statistics Canada, about 38% of those who marry this year will have divorced before their 30th wedding anniversary. The good news is that 62% will still be together. The top five reasons for divorce are different values and interests, physical and mental abuse, alcohol and drugs, infidelity and career-related conflicts. Pick wisely.

In closing, I would like to finish with the lyrics from my favourite singer Willie Nelson,

I’m falling in love again

I never thought I would again

I never thought I could again

Enjoy your relationships.

Roger Sauvé is President of People Patterns Consulting ( Roger is an economist and demographer and lives in Summerstown.


  1. I thought that financial concerns was the number one cause of divorce with mother-in-law problems being number two…..or maybe even vice versa.

  2. Probably a lot of people are no longer getting married also because of the inordinate cost of getting married. You have to do this test, and that test, and find a priest willing to marry you, of course for an inordinate cost to do so. A common law couple knows they love eachother, they don’t need that ring and marriage for them to express their love these days. Its becoming a sign of the times, and organized religion is losing its foothold. To get married these days costs almost as much or more than a funeral in the end. Again another money sucking venture.

    Also, it could just be that this day in age, more people are being EXTREMELY careful of whom they decide to marry. Sometimes its hard finding that special someone out of the paycheque seeking brides/grooms, etc.

  3. Read my lips. The number one cause of divorce is marriage. The biggest financial concerns could be the lawyers.

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