SOCIETY: Cyprus among top three for most marriages in the EU

There’s a big chance that more people in Cyprus will be popping the question this Valentine’s as the Island of Love hosts more marriages per population than most EU countries.

In 2017, European Union countries with the highest number of marriages relative to the population were Lithuania (7.5 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants), Romania (7.3) closely followed by Cyprus and Latvia (both 6.8) and Malta (6.3).

In contrast, the lowest marriage rates were around 3 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants, which were reported in Slovenia (3.1), Italy and Luxembourg (both 3.2) and Portugal (3.3).

Some 2.2 million marriages and 946,000 divorces took place in the EU-28 in 2015, according to the most recent data available for all EU Member States.

These figures may be expressed as 4.3 marriages for every 1,000 persons (crude marriage rate) and 1.9 divorces for every 1 000 persons (crude divorce rate).

Since 1965, the crude marriage rate in the EU-28 has declined by close to 50% in relative terms (from 7.8 per 1,000 in 1965 to 4.3 in 2015). At the same time, the crude divorce rate has more than doubled, increasing from 0.8 per 1 000 persons in 1965 to 1.9 in 2015.

Part of this increase may be due to the fact that in several EU Member States divorce was legalised during the period (for example, in Italy, Spain, Ireland and Malta).

In 2016, the highest crude marriage rate were in Cyprus (7.5) and in Lithuania (7.4).

As regards divorce, in 2016 the lowest crude rates in the EU were registered in Malta (0.8 divorces per 1,000) and Greece (1.0); in general, eastern or southern Member States �Slovenia (1.2), Romania and Bulgaria (both 1.5) and Italy (1.6) � had low crude rates.

By contrast, divorce rates were higher in several northern Member States, notably Latvia and Lithuania (both 3.1 divorces per 1 000 persons), Denmark (3.0 ), Estonia and Finland (both 2.5).

The proportion of live births outside marriage in the EU-28 in 2016 was 42.6 %. This share has continued to increase, signalling new patterns of family formation alongside the more traditional pattern where children were born within marriage. Extramarital births occur in non-marital relationships, among cohabiting couples and to lone parents.

In 2016 extramarital births outnumbered births inside marriage in several EU Member States: France (59.7%), Bulgaria and Slovenia (both 58.6%), Estonia (56.1 %), Sweden (54.9 %), Denmark (54.0 %), Portugal (52.8 %) and the Netherlands (50.4 %), as well as in Iceland (69.6 %) and Norway (56.2 %) among the EFTA countries.

Mediterranean countries like Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, and Italy along with Poland and Lithuania, were generally at the other end of the scale as more than 70% of births in each of these countries occurred within marriage; in Turkey this share was as high as 97.1%.

Source: The Financial Mirror