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Civil wedding ceremonies outnumbered church weddings in Scotland last year, according to new official figures.
The figures, produced on Thursday by the General Registrar's Office for Scotland, showed that just over half of all marriages (52 per cent) were civil ceremonies, carried out by a registrar.
Just over half of these civil ceremonies took place in registry offices, with the rest taking place in ‘approved places’ such as hotels.
Most religious marriages were carried out by Church of Scotland ministers (5,557), with clergy from the Catholic Church carrying out 1,729 marriages.
Celebrants from the Humanist Society of Scotland, authorised to carry out marriages since 2005, officiated at 2,486 marriages, compared with 2,092 in 2010.
Overall, there were 29,135 marriages in Scotland in last year.
The average age at which people marry for the first time has increased by around two years in the last 10 years, to 32.6 years for men and 30.9 years for women.
There were 554 civil partnerships – 227 male couples and 327 female couples.
In 2011, there were 9,862 divorces and 44 civil partnerships were dissolved (legally ended) in Scotland.
There were 58,590 births registered in Scotland in 2011.
The average age of mothers has increased from 27.4 in 1991 to 29.7 in 2011. Similarly, the average age of fathers has increased from 30.0 in 1991 to 32.4 in 2011.
In a press release accompanying the figures, the General Registrar's Office noted that the percentage of babies born to unmarried couples has risen steadily from the 1970s until 2008.
In 2010, 50.2pc of all births in Scotland were to unmarried parents, roughly the same level as in the previous two years. Most births are registered by both parents.
Some 86 per cent of mothers who gave birth in Scotland in 2011 were born in the UK, including 76 per cent who were born in Scotland. Some six per cent of mothers had been born elsewhere in the European Union (EU), including four per cent from the countries which joined the EU in 2004 (such as Poland).