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Press Release 09/12/2016


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The number of marriages was down 0.7% in 2015 in the Basque Country

In the last 25 years, the average age of husbands has increased by 7.5 years and by 7.7 in the case of wives

The total number of marriages stood at 7,880 in 2015, 0.7% down on the previous year, of which 146 were homosexual couples, according to Eustat data.

If we only take into account marriages in the Basque Country between individuals of a different sex, the number was 7,734. 64 less marriages took place than the previous year, which was a drop of 0.8%.

The Basque marriage rate was 3.3 weddings per thousand inhabitants, a similar number to the Spanish rate (3.5%o), but lower than that for European Union (28 countries), which in 2011 (latest available data) stood at 4.2%o.

There was an increase in the age of marriage alongside a delay in the age at which women become mothers. In 2015, the average age of single men when they entered into marriage was 36.4 years old, whilst for single women it stood at 34.3. In the last 25 years, the average age of husbands has increased by 7.5 years and by 7.7 in the case of wives.

Graph 1: Average age at first marriage by sex
Source: Eustat. Marriage statistics

Taking into account civil status prior to marriage, single men represented 88.3%, a slightly lower figure than the 88.2% of single women.

Summer was the preferred month for partners to get married: specifically July was the most popular month with 1,178 weddings, followed by September with 1,103 and June with 1,041.

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 78.3% in 2015, when they stood at 6,058. There were 1,663 catholic weddings and 13 that corresponded to other religious faiths.

By provinces, the most civil weddings took place in Bizkaia (80.9%), followed by Gipuzkoa (79.5%) and Álava (77.4%). However, in the case of Basque residents whose wedding took place outside of the Basque Country, the percentage fell to 63.2%.

The number of weddings held on Fridays is reaching the number held on Saturdays

The number of weddings held on Fridays is reaching the number held on Saturdays, because Fridays are when mostly civil weddings take place, whereas religious ceremonies are held on Saturdays and have been declining since 2000. Thus, in 2015, 47% of weddings took place on a Saturday and 40% on a Friday.

Graph 2: Day wedding is held
Source: Eustat. Marriage statistics

The preferred destinations for the 475 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 Navarra, Burgos and Madrid; those in Bizkaia Madrid, Cantabria and Barcelona and those in Gipuzkoa Navarra, France and Madrid.

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

Regarding the nationality of the individuals entering into marriage, in 1,120 marriages (14.5% of the total) at least one of them was a foreign national. In 48.3% of these couples the wife had foreign nationality, in 24% the husband and in the remaining 27.7%, both spouses were foreigners.

Amongst recently married women the most common countries of origin were Colombia with 117, Bolivia with 71, Brazil with 60, Morocco with 49, Paraguay with 40 and Nicaragua with 38. With regards to new foreign spouses, 74 originated from Morocco, 57 from Colombia, 44 from Bolivia, and 26 from Portugal, Ecuador, Argentina and Algeria.

The number of homosexual marriages rose by 5% with respect to the previous year

In 2015 there were 146 weddings between individuals of the same sex, 91 between women and 55 between men. This figure is a 5% increase on the previous year. Regarding distribution between provinces, 18 were resident in Álava, 50 in Gipuzkoa, 70 in Bizkaia and 8 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 was down 0.7% in 2015 in the Basque Country

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