Jun 03,2018

Here’s How Old The Average South African Is When They Get Married – And When They Get Divorced

Statistics South Africa released it latest marriage and divorce report on Wednesday (30 May).

The report focuses on civil marriages, customary marriages and civil unions that were registered in 2016 in the South African national marriage registration systems maintained by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

This includes trends in the number of marriages and unions as well as demographic and other dynamics amongst married partners.

The report found that there was a slight uptick in marriages of 0.6% in marriages year on year, at 139,512 civil marriages. The highest number of marriages was registered in Gauteng 36,413 (26.1%) followed by KwaZulu-Natal 21,440 (15.4%) and Western Cape 20,565 (14.7%).

The median age of bridegrooms remain unchanged at 36 years whilst the median age of brides increased by a year from 31 years to 32 years. The majority of bridegrooms (81.5%) and brides (86.4%) had not been married before.


The release also reported on divorces that were granted by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Alongside the increase in marriages, it found that there was a 0.3% increase in divorces to 25,260 divorces granted from 25,326 last year.

The median age of males and females remained the same with 44 years and 40 years respectively. Of these about 51,1% of divorces were filed by women while men filed 34.2% divorce cases.

While the statistics from the annual divorce data do not give a comprehensive picture of the number of marriages ending in divorce, the report found that the largest number (26.9%) of divorces were for marriages that lasted between five and nine years.

This group is followed by marriages that lasted between ten and fourteen years (19.6%) and marriages that lasted for less than five years (17.5%).

Statistically this means that about 44.4% of divorces came from marriages that did not celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.



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