Latvia among Europe's leaders for marriage... and divorce

Data published by Eurostat on May 16 show that in 2020 Latvians were among the keenest in Europe to get married... and to get divorced.

In 2020, some 1.4 million marriages and an estimated 0.7 million divorces took place in the EU, according to the most recent data available for all EU Member States, down from 1.9 million marriages and 0.8 million divorces estimated in 2019.

"The unprecedented decrease in marriages can be somewhat attributed to the measures related to limiting the spread of COVID-19," said Eurostat. 

The EU Member States with the highest number of marriages relative to the population were Hungary (6.9 marriages per 1 000 people), Latvia (5.6) and Lithuania (5.5). In contrast, the lowest marriage rates were around 2 marriages per 1 000 inhabitants, which were reported in Italy (1.6), Portugal (1.8), Spain and Ireland (both 1.9). 

EU marriage trends

At the other end of the matrominial line, the highest divorce rates were recorded in Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark (all 2.7 divorces per 1 000 people), Sweden (2.5) and Finland (2.4).

In 2020, among EU Member States, the lowest number of divorces relative to the population was registered in Malta (0.5 divorces per 1 000 people), followed by Slovenia (0.8). 

Since 1964, the marriage rate in the EU has declined from 8.0 per 1 000 people in 1964 to 3.2 in 2020. At the same time, the divorce rate has doubled, increasing from 0.8 per 1 000 people in 1964 to 1.6 in 2020. Interestingly, the divorce rate has decreased in the past decade, from 1.9 per 1 000 people in 2010. 

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