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Marriages, civil unions, and divorces

Statistics on marriages and civil unions record the number of marriages and civil unions registered in New Zealand each year.

Civil unions are a recent form of legal relationship. A civil union may be entered into by couples of the same sex or by couples of different sexes. The Civil Union Act 2004 came into force on 26 April 2005 and the first ceremonies were celebrated on 29 April 2005. A marriage formalised by a non-religious or civil ceremony is not a civil union.

Statistics on divorces record the number of divorces (marriage dissolutions) granted in New Zealand each year.

Marriage, civil union, and divorce statistics, along with birth and death statistics, are often referred to as ‘vital statistics’. They provide the basic information about the structure of the population and how it changes over time. 

Information releases

Explore our latest marriages, civil unions, and divorces statistics.

Marriages, civil unions, and divorces
Key statistics and commentary on the number of marriages, civil unions, and divorces registered in New Zealand. This is an annual release available in early May.

Civil unions and marriages (provisional) – tables
From the December 2015 quarter these tables were replaced with an Infoshare table. Please see the Population; Marriages Civil Unions and Divorces - VSM; Quarterly Marriages and Civil Unions (provisional) Infoshare table.


Access the latest wide-ranging statistics including breakdowns by age, relationship type, and geographic area, and marriage and divorce rates.

Select the following categories from the Infoshare homepage for data about marriages, civil unions, and divorces:
Subject category: Population
Groups: Marriage and Divorce Rates and Marriages Civil Unions and Divorces

Find out more about Infoshare.  

Population indicators table
Downloadable Excel table that shows key population indicators (such as marriages and divorces) for each year from 1991 to the present. 

Reports and articles

Explore information we’ve gathered from research and analysis.

Vitals articles 
Articles that provide extra analysis of selected vital statistics (births, deaths, marriages, civil unions, and divorces).

Wedding tourism: 1980–2009 (published 2010)
Report looking at some characteristics of couples who travelled to New Zealand between 1980 and 2009 to celebrate a wedding or civil union. 

Characteristics of same-sex couples in New Zealand (published 2010)
Report describing some demographic characteristics and the economic well-being of those who reported living in same-sex partnerships, compared with people who reported living in opposite-sex partnerships. 

Marriage and divorce in New Zealand (published 2001)
Article briefly reviewing the major trends in marriage and divorce in New Zealand over the previous three decades.

Information about data

Get technical information such as classifications used and a glossary of statistical terms.

DataInfo+ allows you to search and browse for information about our statistical activities and data. Find information about the concepts used in:

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