Towards Tu B’Av: Decline in the age of marriage, more single than before


Tomorrow evening we will mark the Hebrew Valentine’s Day, which falls on Tu B’Av, and in his honor, the Central Bureau of Statistics today (Monday) publishes new data on marriage in Israel. Jewishness between the ages of 25-29 increased in 2018. So where in the country are almost everyone single and where is it actually exceptional? All the details.

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The average age of grooms first married in 2018 was 27.3, compared to 27.5 two years earlier and 27.7 in 2013. The average age of brides was 24.9 compared to 25.1 two years earlier and 25.2 in 2015. This is a reversal of a trend in recent years that stems mainly from the Jewish public, where according to the Central Bureau of Statistics the rate of first marriages decreased in adulthood.

Despite the decline, the Jewish public marries later than in other sectors – at 27.5 among men and 25.7 among women. The figures published today are still significantly higher than the figures of 1970, when the women who first married were about four years younger (21.7) and men were first married at the age of 25.

The rate of single women among Jewish women aged 25-29 at the end of 1970 was only 13%, in 2017 it was 46% and in 2018 it rose to 47%. Most Jewish men at these ages in 2018 were single (62%), compared to 28% in 1970. At the age of 45-49, the proportion of single men rose from 3% to 12% and the proportion of women from 2% to 10%.

Among the Jewish public, in first marriages the tendency is to marry a spouse of a similar age. The age gap between 77% of couples in 2018 was up to three years. Among Muslims this was the case only among 45% of the couples, while in 55% of them the groom was four years older than the bride.

49,410 couples got married in Israel in 2018 in the religious institutions licensed to do so, 70% of them were Jews. Since 2008, there has been a decline in the rate of marriages for the first time – initially the downward trend in marriage was mainly among relatively older grooms and brides, and now the trend is also noticeable among younger couples. 9,021 couples were registered that year after getting married abroad – most of them in Cyprus and the US.

The rate of singles and married people varies significantly from city to city. In Modi’in Illit, the rate of single men among 25-29 year olds was 7.2% and the rate of single women was only 3.1%, in Betar Illit the rates were 9.3% and 7.5%, respectively, and in Bnei Brak 19.2% and 13.4%. The gap in secular localities is significant: in 2018, 85.3% of men aged 25-29 were single in Tel Aviv, as were 75.4% of women, in Kiryat Tivon the rates were 85% and 74.3%, respectively, and in Tel Mond 84.2% and 65.6%.


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