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Press release dated 04/03/2011


The number of same sex marriages fell by 6.3% in 2009

The average age of the people at the time of marrying increased by 3 years over the last decade

In 2009, there were 9,103 marriages between residents of the Basque Country of different sexes. There were 607 fewer marriages than in the previous year, which was 6.3% down on the previous year, according to Eustat data.

The Basque marriage rate (3.9 weddings per thousand inhabitants) is slightly higher than the Spanish one (3.8%o), but under the rate for all the countries of the European Union, which rose to 4.9%o in 2007.

In line with the increase in the age when mothers give birth, the age at which people marry has also risen. In 2009, the average age of the single men when marrying was 33.8 years old and 31.8 years old for single women. Since 1999, the average age of the brides has risen by 3 years and 2.9 in the case of the grooms.


In terms of the marital status prior to getting married, single men accounted for 90.9% of the grooms, which was slightly higher than the 90.6% in the case of single women. September, with 1,315 weddings, was in first place as the month chosen to get married, followed by July with 1,294 and June with 1,232.

59% weddings held in 2009 were civil marriages

The number of civil weddings has increased over recent years and has risen from 23% in 1990 to 59% in 2009, when they were up to 5,335. There were 3,751 weddings held in Catholic churches and 17 in places of worship of other faiths.

By provinces, the greatest number of civil weddings was in Gipuzkoa (64%), followed by Bizkaia (59%) and Álava (57%). However, the percentage fell to 41% in the case of the residents of the Basque Country who married outside our Autonomous Community.

32% of people lived together before getting married

32% of the couples shared the same place of residence prior to marriage, a figure that confirmed the decrease noted in 2008. The percentage of couples that lived together prior to marriage has changed in recent years. In fact, only 19% of couples had the same address prior to marrying in 1996, while that figure peaked at 59% in 2007.


As far of the nationality of the couples was concerned, at least one of the spouses was foreign in 1,314 marriages (14.4% of the total). 48.4% of these marriages were between Spanish men and foreign women, 30.3% between Spanish women and foreign men, and both spouses were foreign in 21.3% of the cases.

The preferred destinations of the 584 couples who moved outside the Basque Country after getting married were Madrid, Cantabria and Burgos. There were differences in terms of the destination between the marriages held in the three provinces: the couples who married in Álava preferred Madrid, Burgos and Navarra, those who married in Bizkaia moved to Cantabria, Madrid and Burgos, and those from Gipuzkoa went to Madrid, France and Navarra.

The number of same-sex marriages was up by 7.6% with respect to the previous year

In 2009, there were 128 same-sex weddings, 67 between men and 61 between women. As far as their geographical distribution was concerned, 13 were held in Álava, 45 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 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 More press releases on MARRIAGE STATISTICS of the Basque Country Databank on MARRIAGE STATISTICS of the Basque Country

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The number of same sex marriages fell by 6.3% in 2009

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Marriage statistics
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Año 2009
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