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Press Release 24/01/2014


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The number of marriages fell by 5.1% in 2012 with respect to the previous year

In the last 25 years, the average age of husbands has increased by 7.1 years and by 7.5 in the case of wives

The total number of marriages stood at 8,293 in 2012, 5.1% down on the previous year, of which 148 were homosexual couples, according to Eustat data.

If we consider marriages of Basque Country residents between people of different sexes, the number stood at 8,145. 448 fewer weddings took place than in the previous year, which was a drop of 5.2%.

The Basque marriage rate was 3.5 weddings per thousand inhabitants, a similar number to the Spanish rate (3.56%), but lower than that of the European Union (27 countries), which in 2010 (latest available data) stood at 4.4%.

In line with the increase in the age of maternity, there was also an increase in the marriage age. In 2012, the average age of single men when they entered into marriage was 34.8 years old, whilst for single women it stood at 32.9. In the last 25 years, the average age of husbands has increased by 7.1 years and by 7.5 in the case of wives.

Graph 1: Average age at first marriage by sex
Source: EUSTAT. Marriage statistics in the Basque Country

Taking into account civil status prior to marriage, single men represented 89.3%, a figure similar to the 89.4% of single women.

Summer was the preferred time for partners to get married: specifically September was the most popular month with 1,303 weddings, followed by June with 1,287 and July with 1,205. 53% of weddings took place on a Saturday and 35% on a Friday.

The number of civil weddings has almost tripled since 1990

The number of civil weddings has risen throughout the last few years, going from 23% in 1990 to 70.1% in 2012, when they stood at 5,707. There were 2,419 catholic weddings and 19 that corresponded to other religious faiths.

By provinces, the most civil weddings took place in Bizkaia (72.1%), followed by Gipuzkoa (71.6%) and Álava (66.2%). However, in the case of Basque Country residents that got married outside of the Autonomous Region, the percentage fell to 54.9%.

Almost half of new couples lived together before getting married in 2012

49% of partners shared the same residence before marriage, a figure that has not changed in relation to 2011. The percentage of partners that lived together before marriage has changed over the last few years, from a minimum in 1996, when just 19% of partners had the same address before getting married, to 2007, when the maximum number was reached, 59%.

Graph 2: Couples sharing residence before marriage (%)
Source: EUSTAT. Marriage statistics in the Basque Country

The preferred destinations for the 416 couples who fixed their residency outside the Basque Country after getting married were Madrid, Cantabria and Navarra. There were differences, regarding destination, amongst the marriages that took place in the three provinces: those in Álava preferred Burgos and La Rioja; those in Bizkaia Madrid, Cantabria and Barcelona, and those in Gipuzkoa France, Navarra and Madrid.

In 14.5% of unions at least one of the spouses was of foreign nationality

Regarding the nationality of the individuals entering into marriage, in 1,179 marriages (14.5% of the total) at least one of the spouses was foreign. In 47.4% of these couples the wife had foreign nationality, in 28.3% the husband and in the remaining 24.3%, both spouses were foreigners.

Amongst recently married women the most common countries of origin were Colombia with 120, Brazil (97), Bolivia (65), Ecuador (44), Morocco (42) and Nicaragua (33). With regards to new spouses, 77 originated from Morocco, 69 from Colombia, 41 from Algeria, 35 from Argentina, 34 from Bolivia and 28 from Ecuador and Portugal.

The number of homosexual marriages decreased by 1.3% compared to the previous year

In 2012 there were 148 weddings between individuals of the same sex, 75 being between women and 73 between men. Regarding distribution between provinces, 13 were resident in Álava, 56 in Gipuzkoa, 74 in Bizkaia and 5 outside the Basque Country.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.eus Tlf: 945 01 75 62 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 marriages fell by 5.1% in 2012 with respect to the previous year

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