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Press Release 18/12/2014


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The number of marriages fell by 5.9% in 2013 with respect to the previous year

In the last 25 years, the average age of husbands has increased by 7.4 years and by 7.8 in the case of wives

The total number of marriages of residents in the Basque Country stood at 7,801 in 2013, 5.9% down on the previous year, of which 126 were homosexual couples, according to Eustat data.

If we consider marriages between people of different sex, the number was 7,675. 470 fewer weddings took place than in the previous year, which was a drop of 5.8%.

The Basque marriage rate was 3.3 weddings per thousand inhabitants, a similar number to the Spanish rate (3.32%o), but lower than that for European Union, which in 2008 (latest available data) stood at 4.8%o.

There was an increase in the age of entering into marriage alongside a delay in the age at which women become mothers. In 2013 the average age of single men when marrying was 35.5, while that of single women was 33.6. In the last 25 years, the average age of husbands has increased by 7.4 years and by 7.8 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 88.3%, a slightly lower figure than the 88.9% of single women.

Summer was the preferred month for partners to get married: specifically June was the most popular month with 1,231 weddings, followed by September with 1,183 and July with 1,128. 50% of weddings took place on a Saturday and 37% on a Friday.

The proportion of civil weddings has tripled since 1990

The number of civil weddings has risen throughout the last few years, going from 23% in 1990 to 75% in 2013, when they stood at 5,760. There were 1,900 catholic weddings and 15 that corresponded to other religious faiths.

By province, the most civil weddings took place in Gipuzkoa (77.7%), followed by Bizkaia (76.7%) and Álava (72.4%). However, in the case of Basque Country residents that got married outside of the Autonomous Region, the percentage fell to 61.1%.

Almost half of couples lived together before getting married in 2013

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 466 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 Madrid, Burgos and La Rioja; those in Bizkaia Madrid, Cantabria and Barcelona and those in Gipuzkoa Madrid, Navarra and France.

In 14% of unions at least one of the spouses was of foreign nationality

Regarding the nationality of the individuals entering into marriage, in 1,071 marriages (14% of the total) at least one of the spouses was a foreign national. In 48.3% of these couples the wife had foreign nationality, in 27.7% the husband and in the remaining 24%, both spouses were foreign nationals.

Amongst recently married women the most common countries of origin were Colombia with 95, Bolivia (67), Brazil (62), Ecuador (39), Nicaragua (39) and Morocco (35). With regards to new spouses, 81 originated from Morocco, 61 from Colombia, 34 from Bolivia, 27 from Algeria, 24 from Ecuador and 22 from Portugal.

The number of homosexual marriages fell by 14.9% with respect to the previous year

In 2013 there were 126 weddings between individuals of the same sex, 64 being between women and 62 between men. This figure is a 14.9% drop with respect to the previous year. Regarding distribution between provinces, 17 were resident in Álava, 36 in Gipuzkoa, 62 in Bizkaia and 11 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 5.9% in 2013 with respect to the previous year

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