New Zealanders are getting married at their lowest rate in more than a decade, new figures show.

Statistics New Zealand said New Zealand residents entered into 20,231 marriages in 2011.

That was the lowest number since 2001, when 19,972 weddings were celebrated, it said.

It marks a continuing decline in marriage numbers, with 21,500 weddings taking place in 2009 and 20,900 in 2010.


Divorces also dropped slightly from 8,874 in 2010 to 8,551 last year.

Population Statistics acting manager Deb Potter said the declining divorce numbers were in line with a trend stretching back to 2005.

There were 301 civil unions celebrated in 2011, of which 77 per cent were between same-sex couples.

The first civil unions were celebrated in New Zealand on April 29, 2005.

Since then 2,152 residents have registered a civil union. Up to 31 December 2011, only 83 of the unions had been dissolved.

Key figures for 2011
* 20,231 marriages.

* 14,049 first marriages, 6,182 remarriages.

* 2,200 additional marriages registered to overseas residents.


* 8,551 divorces.

* 301 civil unions.

* 565 couples married on November 11, or 11/11/11, compared to 87 on an average Friday.