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The number of marriages in New Jersey in 2003 declined 2.4 percent from 2002, while the number of divorces decreased 6.1 percent (Table MD1 and Figure MD1). 

The median ages of all brides and grooms, including first-time brides and grooms, were the same as in 2002 (Table MD2 and Figure MD2).  The percentage of first-time brides and grooms who were under 20 years of age decreased slightly from 2002.  After declining considerably starting in the 1980s, this percentage has remained fairly stable from the mid-1990s to the present.  The percentage of first-time brides and grooms under age 25 also decreased substantially through the 1980s and has continued to decrease, though at a slower rate (Table MD3 and Figure MD3). 

In 63.5 percent of marriages, the bride was younger than the groom.  In about one-quarter of marriages, the bride was older than the groom.  Age differences were more likely and, on average, were larger in marriages where one or both participants had been married before.  In 74.0 percent of first marriages, the bride and groom were within five years of each other in age.  This was true in fewer than half (46.9%) of marriages in which the bride or groom or both had been previously married (Table MD5).

The percentages of brides and grooms who were previously divorced were 8.1 and 9.8 percent higher, respectively, than ten years earlier (Table MD6). 

August was the most popular month for marriages in 2003, followed by September, October, and June.  More than 11 percent of marriages occurred in August while only 4.5 percent occurred in January, the least popular month (Table MD8).

MD1 Marriages and Divorces, 1983-2003
MD2 Median Age at Marriage, 1983-2003
MD3 First-Time Brides and Grooms by Age, 1983-2003
MD4 Marriages by Age of Bride and Age of Groom
MD5 Marriages by Difference in Ages of Bride and Groom
MD6 Marriages by Previous Marital Status, 1993-2003
MD7 Previous Marital Status of Bride and of Groom
MD8 Marriages by County and Month of Occurrence
MD9 Marriages and Divorces by County of Occurrence
MD1 Marriage and Divorce Rates, 1983-2003
MD2 Median Age at First Marriage, 1983-2003
MD3 First-Time Brides and Grooms Under 25 and Under 20 Years of Age, 1983-2003

View/download all marriage and divorce tables:  Excel     PDF
Return to New Jersey Health Statistics, 2003 Index
Go to NJSHAD interactive query system to create your own tables and maps of marriages by selected characteristics for 1990-2003.
Go to 2002 Marriage and Divorce Report
Go to Vital Statistics for copies of marriage certificates
Go to Administrative Office of the Courts for additional divorce information

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