Too many lovers, too few marriages

ROMANCE was in the air yesterday. Lovers trooped to motels, restaurants, movie houses and shopping malls to show their affection with one another to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Today, you can be sure that after spending small fortunes to shower their loved ones with gifts and non-material things, everything will be back to normal.

The poor gift giver, usually the employed, will be searching for more money to pay the rent for their apartments, the mortgages for their cars purchased on installment basis and for the credit cards that are about to be declared on default.

This is the reason why many young lovers now choose to put off marriage plans or resort to live-ins to save on money until they are financially stable enough to lead a happy family.

According to the latest data published recently by the National Statistics Office (NSO), there were 490,054 marriages that were registered in 2007 but this number represented a decrease of 2,612 marriages or 0.5 percent from the 2006 figure of 492,666.

Six regions, namely: National Capital Region (NCR), Region X, Region XII, Region VII, Region III and Region IV-A reported declines in the number of marriages. The biggest downward slope was recorded in NCR at 9.4 percent.

In 2007, most couples preferred to tie knots during the month of May. In fact during this month a total of 53,987 marriages or a daily occurrence of 1,742 was registered.

Although the month of April ranked only second in terms of total number of marriages (53,817), it recorded the highest daily occurrence of 1,794 marriages in 2007.

Meanwhile, the month of December which was second in rank in 2006, recorded a total count of 51,249 marriages a year later and thus, moved to third place.

On the contrary, the month of November appeared to be the least preferred month for wedding ceremonies as it recorded the lowest number of marriages of only 23,423.

In 2007, about four out of ten brides get married at ages 20-24 years. The said age group of women recorded 186,012 or 38.0% out of the 490,054 marriages.

The second most likely choice of women for settling down was at ages 25-29 with 136,584 (27.9%).

As expected men preferred to enter married life at an older age than women. In 2007, three out of ten grooms (169,845 or 34.7%) old tied knots with their brides at ages 25-29 years.

Meanwhile, there were 69,052 (14.1% of total marriages) teen brides in 2007. Teen brides were almost five times more than teen grooms (15,312 or 3.1% of total marriages). The sex ratio of teen grooms to teen brides was 22.2.

In contrast, the number of men (16,599 or 3.4%) who married at age 50 years old and above was more than double compared to the number of women (6,562 or 1.3%) of the same age group.

But if President Noynoy is listening, he doesn’t really have to hurry up because marrying at such stage of life is getting more fashionable.

Median age for brides is 24.7 while for grooms was 29.7. –Raul Valino

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