SINGAPORE – Fewer couples are tying the knot, but fewer are also going their separate ways.

A total of 27,007 marriages were registered last year, 4.3 per cent down on the 28,212 registered in 2017, according to the 2018 marriage and divorce statistics which were released on Tuesday (July 30).

The decline was due to a fall in both civil and Muslim marriages, according to the Department of Statistics.

Some 7,344 marriages ended in a divorce or annulment last year, a 3.1 per cent fall from the 7,578 marital dissolutions in 2017.

The decrease was due to the fall in divorces or annulments among non-Muslim couples, which more than offset the increase in Muslim divorces.

As in previous years, people have been marrying at an older age.

The median age at first marriage for husbands rose from 29.8 years in 2008 to 30.2 last year, while for wives it went up from 27.3 years in 2008 to 28.5 years last year.

And more people are marrying someone of a different race.

Some 22.4 per cent of marriages were inter-ethnic unions last year, up from 16.7 per cent in 2008.