Mid-Ulster couples most conservative in North

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COUPLES in Magherafelt are among some of the most convservative in Northern Ireland information released recently by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has revealed.

The statistics reveal that couples in Magherafelt are more likely to get married younger on average and are more likely to get married in church than their counterparts across Northern Ireland.

The statistics released recently by NISRA, document the status of those getting married, divorced and engaged in civil partnerships in each council area during 2011.

Couples in Magherafelt get married at an average age of 30.55 years of age, with the average age of the 218 brides in the district just 29.5 years, four years younger than their counterparts in North Down.

Husbands in Magherafelt are also the youngest with an average age of 31.6 years, a year and a half below the Northern Ireland average and over four years younger than men in North Down.

Couples in Cookstown also got married at a young age, coming in fifth on the list behind their neighbours in Magherafelt, Dungannon, Armagh and Ballymoney.

Men in Cookstown are 32.3 years old at the time of marriage with brides getting married not long after their 30th birthday, at 30.4 years on average.

The general trend over recent years has been towards marrying at a later age, something attributed to more expensive wedding ceremonies and a less certain financial outlook.

The statistics also reveal that couples in Magherafelt are much more likely to have a religious wedding, with 92% of marriages in a Church are celebrated by a religious leader.

This compares dramatically with Ballymena where almost half of all marriages are civil cermonies and across Northern Ireland were 33% of all marriages are civil marriages.

The statistics also reveal that couples in Magherafelt are less likely to live together prior to marriage with just 31% shacking up prior to walking down the aisle.

Likewise couples from Cookstown are well below the Northern Ireland average with only 36% of couples sharing a home before their big day.