Published: 6 May 2011

Marriages are entered into at ever later age

According to Statistics Finland's data on population changes, women's average age at the time of entering first marriage was 30.3 years and men's 32.6 years in 2010. Year by year, first marriages are entered into at ever later age. In good four decades, women's average age at the time of entering first marriage has risen by around seven years and men's by some eight years.

Average age at the time of entering first marriage by gender 1960–2010

Average age at the time of entering first marriage by gender 1960–2010

In 2010, the number of contracted marriages remained almost unchanged from the previous year. A total of 29,952 marriages were entered into, which is 116 more than in the year before. The share of first marriages among all marriages has remained at 77 per cent throughout the 2000s.

The share of spouses born abroad has gone up in the past couple of decades. In 2010, eight per cent of the brides of men born in Finland who entered into marriage were born abroad, whereas in the early 1990s their share was only one per cent. Respectively, seven per cent of the grooms of women born in Finland were born abroad, but in the early 1990s also only one per cent.

Nearly the same number of divorces were granted in 2010 as in the previous year. Altogether 13,619 marriages ended in divorce, which is 52 more than one year previously. The number of divorces has been rising slightly since 2007. However, the increase has been so minor that the divorce rate has remained unchanged.

Seventy per cent of the marriages that ended in divorce in 2010 were first marriages for both spouses. In 1990, the corresponding share was still 80 per cent.

In 2010, the number of registered same-sex partnerships was 322. Of them, 124 were male couples and 198 female couples. In 2009, a total of 246 same-sex partnerships were registered. A total of 64 registered same-sex partnerships ended in divorce. Of them, 22 were of male couples and 42 of female couples. In 2009, a total of 53 registered same-sex partnerships ended in divorce.

Changes in marital status and mean age of men and women at first marriage in 2001–2010

  Year
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Contracted marriages    24 830    26 969    25 815   29 342    29 283    28 236    29 497    31 014    29 836 29 952
Divorces 13 568 13 336 13 475 13 234 13 383 13 255 13 224 13 471 13 527 13 619
Woman's mean age at first marriage 28,7 29,1 29,2 29,7 29,6 29,7 29,9 30,2 30,2 30,3
Man's mean age at first marriage 31,0 31,3 31,5 32,1 31,8 32,1 32,3 32,5 32,5 32,6
Registered partnerships      . 446 190 186 200 191 213 249 246 322
Divorces from registered partnerships . 2 6 15 31 30 67 45 53 64

Source: Population and Cause of Death Statistics. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Timo Nikander (09) 1734 3250, vaesto.tilasto@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (294.9 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 6.5.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Changes in marital status [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-643X. 2010. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.10.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ssaaty/2010/ssaaty_2010_2011-05-06_tie_001_en.html

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