Published: 19 April 2013

Number of marriages increased, divorces decreased

According to Statistics Finland's data on population changes, the number of marriages entered into in 2012 went up slightly from the previous year. A total of 28,878 marriages were entered into, which was 470 more than in the year before. The enlivening of marriage did not focus clearly on any particular age group but was divided between several age groups.

Number of marriages and divorces 1965–2012

Number of marriages and divorces 1965–2012

The share of first marriages of all marriages remained unchanged at 76 per cent. The percentage has remained at the same level throughout the first decade of the 2000s.

In 2012, the average age of women who entered into their first marriage was 30.8 years and that of men 33.1 years. Year by year, first marriages are entered into at ever later age. In two decades, women's average age at the time of entering first marriage has risen by close on four years and men's by good four years.

Fewer divorces were granted in 2012 than one year earlier. Altogether 13,040 marriages ended in divorce, which is 429 fewer than one year previously. The number of divorces decreased for the second year in a row. The number decreased in particular because there were fewer divorces among 45-54 year olds than in the year before. Even though the actual number of divorces fell slightly, the divorce level was still high.

Sixty-nine per cent of the marriages that ended in divorce in 2012 were first marriages for both spouses. The share was the same as one year ago. In 1990, the corresponding proportion was still 80 per cent.

In 2012, the number of registered same-sex partnerships was 329. Of them, 110 were male couples and 219 female couples. A total of 103 registered same-sex partnerships ended in divorce. Of them, 36 were of male couples and 67 of female couples. In 2011, a total of 333 same-sex partnerships were registered and a total of 85 ended in divorce.

Changes in marital status and mean age of men and women at first marriage in 2003–2012

  Year
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Contracted marriages    25 815   29 342    29 283    28 236    29 497    31 014    29 836 29 952 28 408 28 878
Divorces 13 475 13 234 13 383 13 255 13 224 13 471 13 527 13 619 13 469 13 040
Woman's mean age at first marriage 29,2 29,7 29,6 29,7 29,9 30,2 30,2 30,3 30,6 30,8
Man's mean age at first marriage 31,5 32,1 31,8 32,1 32,3 32,5 32,5 32,6 32,9 33,1
Registered partnerships      190 186 200 191 213 249 246 322 333 329
Divorces from registered partnerships 6 15 31 30 67 45 53 64 85 103

Source: Population and Cause of Death Statistics. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

Publication in pdf-format (287.8 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 19.4.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Changes in marital status [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-643X. 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.10.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ssaaty/2012/ssaaty_2012_2013-04-19_tie_001_en.html

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