The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has published data on marriage in Israel ahead of Tu B’av on Friday, which is frequently celebrated in modern times in a similar fashion to Valentine’s Day.
The CBS data shows a significant difference between Israel in 2014 compared to data for the year 1970. Israelis now get married less and at a much older age than 46 years ago. While only 28% of Israeli men in 1970 aged 25-29 were single, this figure skyrocketed to 65% in 2014. The amount of single women aged 25-29 increased during that period from 13% to 50%.
The rate of unmarried Jewish men and women at the ages of 45-49 increased during that period as well. While only 3% of Jewish men within those ages were single in 1970, this figure rose to 11% in 2014. Among Jewish women, that figure increased from 2% to 9%.
The percent of unmarried Jews is the highest in predominantly secular cities such as Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. It is lowest in predominantly ultra-Orthodox cities such as Modiin Illit, Beitar Illit, and Bnei Brak.
According to the CBS data, there were 50,797 weddings in Israel during the year 2014 in ceremonies recognized by the state. Some 72.6% of them were Orthodox Jewish weddings, 23.4% were Muslim, 2.1% were Druze, and 1.7% were Christian. The data excludes non-Orthodox Jewish weddings and alternative Orthodox weddings that were not coordinated with the chief rabbinate.
At least 8,782 Israeli couples, or couples that included at least one Israeli, married outside of Israel. However, this figure includes only those who reported their marriage to Israeli authorities.
The marriage rate in Israel is one of the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, at 6.2 marriages per 1,000 citizens. The highest marriage rate, 8.3, was recorded among Israel’s Muslim population, while the Jewish marriage rate was at 6.0.
The average age at which Israelis got married for the first time in 2014 was 27.6 for men and 25.0 for women. The average marriage age is significantly higher than the data recorded in 1970, having increased by almost three years for grooms and by three and a half years for brides. The average age difference between the groom and bride decreased during the last 45 years from 3.3 years to 2.6 years.
Story reprinted with permission from TPS.