Trends in marriage in 2006 in Latvia

10.08.2007

Within the last fifteen years there were noticeable changes in the formation of families and in the divorcing. As it can bee seen in the chart, at the beginning of the nineties the number of marriages was gradually decreasing, but since 2001 the number of marriages started to grow. Compared to 2005, in 2006 this increase constituted 16.5%. Last year there were registered 14616 marriages, but divorced 7249, according to Central Statistical Bureau data.

Changes of the registered marriages in 1990-2006

The share of first marriages in the total number retained approximately at the level of 70%. In 2006 the rate of first marriages was 71.8% of the total number for males and 73.2% for females.

The data of 2006 show that at the age of 20 - 29 50.3% of men and 58.8% of women registered their marriage.

Average age for marriages

Total

First marriage

Males

Females

Males

Females

2001

31,6

29,0

27,0

24,9

2002

31,9

29,3

27,5

25,4

2003

32,0

29,4

27,5

25,4

2004

32,1

29,4

27,8

25,6

2005

32,8

30,0

28,2

26,0

2006

33,0

30,4

28,4

26,3

Traditionally the months when the most of the marriages are registered are July, August, and September.

Marriages by months in 2004 - 2007

During last years more than one third of the marriages (in 2006 – 36.6%) are registered with the partners of different ethnicity. Moreover, among the representatives with nationalities, which have lower share in the total number of Latvia population, the number of mixed marriages is considerably higher.

Nationality of spouse

Ratio of males with spouse of different ethnicity

Ratio of females with spouse of different ethnicity

2004

2005

2006

2004

2005

2006

Latvians

19,4

20,8

21,7

19,4

20,1

19,9

Russians

40,6

40,2

41,0

44,0

44,0

45,6

Belarussians

91,6

91,3

94.5

90,6

91,3

95,0

Ukrainians

92,7

93,4

95,7

92,2

93,2

95,4

Poles

90,1

87,0

90,4

90,7

88,5

90,8

Lithuanians

93,3

96,4

92,9

94,2

96,4

92,7

The ratio of places for the marriage registration – civil registry and church - has not changed noticeably. In 1996 of all marriages 19.4% were registered in church, in 2005 – 20.2%, in 2006 – 19.6%. In 2006 their marriages in church registered mostly the population of Liepāja (25.0%), Riga (24%), Rēzekne (23.6%) districts, but the smallest number of marriages was registered in the churches of Jēkabpils district (9.7%) and city of Ventspils (9.3%).

It should be outlined, that within last years increasingly higher number of people does not want to register their marriage in civil registry nor in church. In 2006 43.4% (in 2000 – 40.0%) of all newborn were born in not registered marriages.

The level of divorced marriages continues to stay high, but it has a tendency to reduce. In 2000 on every 1000 registered marriages 666 were divorced, in 2005 - 506, in 2006 - 496.

In 2006 of all divorced marriages 59.1% were families with minor children.

Within last years, the average duration of marriage continues to increase. In 1996 it was10 years, in 2000 – 12.2 years, but in 2006 –13 years.

Divorces by duration of marriage in 2004 - 2006

According to data of the previous chart, the highest risk for divorce is the fourth and fifth year of the marriage. If the spouses have overcome this threshold the risk for divorce reduces every year, until the next critical period – 14-16 years.

Prepared by the Population statistics Section
Tel. 7366904
Dzidra Rumpīte