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In 1950, the average age for first marriage for men was 28.5 years and for women was 25.9 years.

This was higher than the 1960s and 1970s, when people married at younger ages — for example, in 1972 the average age was 23.0 years for women and 25.4 years for men.

Marriage remains one of the most important social institutions in Canada, but overall the marriage rate is declining and the traditional portrait of a family is being transformed.

( History of Marriage and Divorce.) The overall number of young people who are marrying is decreasing and the average age for both men and women when they first marry has been gradually rising.In 1961, 92 per cent of Canadian families were headed by married couples.By 2016, this number had declined to 65.8 per cent — a change mostly due to the rising popularity of common-law unions.After the millennium the marriage rate fell to 4.7 marriages per 1,000 people (compared to 10.9 in the 1940s), continuing the trend of a declining rate.Married couples are still the predominant family structure.

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