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Press release 05/08/2006


Civil weddings in the A.C. of the Basque Country increased by 11% in 2004

The average age of couples has risen by almost five years over the last two decades

10,785 weddings between residents of the A.C. of the Basque Country were held in 2004, 107 less than the previous year, according to Eustat data. Over the last 15 years an upward trend has been seen in the number of civil weddings, which rose 11% in 2004, moving from 23.3% in 1990 to representing 41.8% in 2004.

By province, Gipuzkoa was where civil weddings held the greatest weight (46%), followed by Álava (44.2%) and Bizkaia (41.3%). The percentage of civil weddings fell to 23.5% when they took place outside of our Community.

The Basque marriage rate (4.8 weddings per thousand inhabitants) is identical to the overall rate for the countries of the European Union and slightly lower than in Spain (5%o). July figured at the top of the list of months in which to get married with 1,656 weddings, followed by September with 1,529 and October with 1,413.

As for the type of ceremony, 6,268 were Catholic, 4,504 were completely civil and 13 corresponded to other religious faiths.

Turning to the marital status of the couple prior to the wedding, 93.3% of men were single, while this was the case for 93.7% of women.

Parallel to the rising maternity age, there was a rise in the ages of brides and grooms. In 2004, the average age for single men to get married was 32.1 and 30.2 for single women. From 1986 onwards, the average age of grooms has risen by 4.7 years and by 5.3 in the case of brides.

For the 740 couples who settled outside of the A.C. of the Basque Country following the wedding, the favourite destinations were Cantabria, followed by Madrid and foreign countries. There were differences, as regards destination, between couples, depending on which province they were married in: those from Álava largely went to Castile and Leon and foreign countries; those from Bizkaia went to Cantabria and Madrid and those from Gipuzkoa went overseas, followed by Madrid and Navarre.

As regards the geographic origin of the bride and groom, 70.7% of weddings were held between residents of the same municipality of the Community and 7.6% resided in neighbouring municipalities.

For further information:

Euskal Estatistika-Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística
C/ Donostia-San Sebastian, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tel:+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail: eustat@eustat.es
Contact: Martín González Hernández
Tel:+34-945-01 75 49 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
Press releases on the Internet: www.eustat.es
Data bank: www.eustat.eus/bancopx/spanish/indice.aspx

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Civil weddings in the A.C. of the Basque Country increased by 11% in 2004

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Marriage statistics
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Año 2004
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