Amendments to the law On State Pensions have affected marriage statistics
The data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that regardless the fact that in 2018, compared to 2017, the total number of marriages fell by 0.7 %, the number of marriages concluded by elderly population grew 1.7 times. The rise was facilitated by the amendments made to the law On State Pensions1.
Last year, 1054 males and 791 females aged 60 and over registered marriage (one year ago those were 668 males and 442 females). Out of all people registering marriage during the year, elderly people accounted for 7.1 %. In 2015 those were 3.8 % and in the two following years 4.1 % and 4.2 %.
Out of the elderly bridegrooms and brides registering marriage, 74 % did it in the second half of the year, with the largest share in June, which may be explained by amendments made to the law in April. Usually, approximately 66 % of the marriages are concluded in the second half of the year.
The rise in the number of marriages concluded by elderly people affected the indicator showing the average age at marriage: compared to 2017, it rose by 1.4 years among males (from 36.3 to 37.7 years) and by 1.5 years among females (from 33.8 to 35.3).
Out of the marrying people aged 60 and over, 87 % of men and 93 % of women concluded marriage repeatedly, while 135 males (13 %) and 59 females (7 %) registered marriage for the first time.
Out of all elderly bridegrooms, 389 (37 %) married females aged 60 or younger. Moreover, the youngest bride was aged slightly above 20. In respect to the elderly brides, only 126 (16 %) married younger males. The youngest bridegroom was aged slightly below 40.
The number of marriages registered at very old age has risen as well – last year, 75 bridegrooms and 40 brides were aged 80 or over. Out of 75 bridegrooms in this age group, 55 married younger brides, mainly aged 70–79. Number of brides marrying younger bridegrooms is smaller – 15. Last year, a bridegroom aged 95 and a bride aged 89 were the oldest couple concluding marriage.
At the beginning of this year, 33 % of males and 67 % of females aged 60 and over in Latvia were legally free.
Marital status of usually resident population aged 60 and over at the beginning of 2019
(as per cent)
1https://likumi.lv/ta/en/en/id/38048-on-state-pensions. Amendments to the law were made on 26 April 2018. As of 2019, spouse of a person passed away has a right to receive 50 % of the deceased spouse’s pension for one year after his/her death.