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Press release 05/03/2010


Half the couples that married in 2008 lived together before getting married

The number of heterosexual marriages was up by 1% with respect to the previous year

In 2008, 9,710 different-sex weddings were held between residents of the Basque Country, 97 more than in the previous year, according to Eustat data. 49% of the couples had shared the same place of residence prior to the marriage, along with a further 4% that lived in the same building. These figures have changed over the last 10 years, as the percentage of couples living together prior to marriage was 25.5% in 1998. In 2008, a further 20% of the couples lived in the same municipality, but in a different building, and 6.7% lived in neighbouring municipalities.

The Basque marriage rate (4.2 weddings per thousand inhabitants) is the same as the one for Spain, but slightly under the rate for all the countries of the European Union, which was 4.9 per thousand in 20076. June, with 1,351 weddings, was in first place as the month chosen to get married, followed by September with 1,346 and 1,333 in July.

55% weddings held in 2008 were civil marriages

The number of civil weddings has increased over recent years and has risen from 23% in 1990 to 55% in 2008, when they were up to 5,328. There were 4,366 weddings held in Catholic churches and 16 in places of worship of other faiths.

By provinces, the greatest number of civil weddings was in Gipuzkoa (57%), followed by Bizkaia (55%) and Álava (54%). However, the percentage fell to 41% in the case of the residents of the Basque Country who married outside our Autonomous Community and who opted for a civil wedding.

As far of the nationality of the couples was concerned, at least one of the spouses was foreign in 1,267 marriages (13% of the total). 49.8% of these marriages were held between Spanish men and foreign women; 29.6% between Spanish women and foreign men, and both spouses were foreign in 20.6% of the cases.

The preferred destinations of the 610 couples who moved outside the Basque Country after getting married were Cantabria and Madrid. There were differences in terms of the destination between the marriages held in the three provinces: the couples from Álava mainly went to Madrid and La Rioja, those from Bizkaia to Cantabria and Madrid and the couples from Gipuzkoa to Madrid and abroad.

The average of the bride and groom has risen by around six years since 1986

In line with the increase in the age when mothers give birth, the age of the bride and groom has also risen. In 2008, the average age of the single men when getting married was 33.2 years old and 31.3 years old for single women. Since 1986, the average age of the grooms is up by 5.8 years and 6.4 in the case of the brides.

In terms of the civil status of the bride and groom prior to getting married, single men accounted for 91.4% of the grooms, which was slightly lower than the 91.9% in the case of single women.


In 2008, there were 119 same-sex marriage, 18% more than in 2007

62 of the 119 same-sex weddings were between men and 57 between women. As far as their geographical distribution was concerned, 11 took place in Álava, 37 in Gipuzkoa, 62 in Bizkaia and 8 outside the Basque Country.

For further information:

Basque Statistics Office C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Tlf:+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail: eustat@eustat.es Contact: Martín González Hernández Tlf:+34-945-01 75 49 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 Online press releases: www.eustat.es Databank: www.eustat.eus/bancopx/english/indice.aspx

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Half the couples that married in 2008 lived together before getting married

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Marriage statistics
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Año 2008
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