The Results of the 2011 Marriages survey have just been released. I have included the 1991 results so that the trends over a 20 year period may be seen. Below are the actual percentage figures along with a representative graph.
|Year||RC||Protestant & Other||Civil|
So, we can, perhaps, draw the following conclusions:
- “RC” Marriage rates are clearly falling during the past 2 years after a largely stable period from 1991 to 2009. Down by 4.5% over the entire period of which 3.6% was in the last 10 years.
- “Protestant and Other” Marriage rates have fallen by 12.8% over the entire period of which 3.9% was in the last 10 years.
- Civil Marriages are clearly on a sustained upward trend increasing by 17.3% over 20 years and 7.5% over the last 10.
The key to understanding these statistics therefore, lies in the answer to how many of these Civil Marriages are actually residual RC and likely to be nationalist inclined voters.
With the increased level of secularisation over recent years, increasing Divorce levels (Where RC divorcees wish to remarry but cannot do so in a religious service) and the general decline in influence of the RC Church (evidenced by declining church attendance) I believe a substantial proportion of these Civil marriages are, in fact, residual nationalists.