Lowest number of divorces in the Netherlands since 1980
Last year, 25,600 marriages ended in divorce in the Netherlands. That is less than eight divorces per 1,000 married couples - the lowest proportion since 1980, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported on Wednesday.
In 2014, 10.4 out of 1,000 marriages ended in divorce. Since then, that share has been steadily decreasing. That trend continued even through the coronavirus pandemic when experts worried that lockdown and social isolation would result in more marriages falling apart.
According to CBS, the decrease in divorces is partly because younger generations are more likely to stay unmarried or only get married at a later age. In 2000, 88,000 couples got married in the Netherlands. In 2020, that dropped to 56,000 couples. The average age of the bride rose from 31 in 2000 to nearly 36 in 2020. The older people get married, the more likely they are to stay together, CBS said.
Another factor is that couples are now more likely to marry after living together for a while. Contemporary couples also more often opt for a registered partnership, which is legally almost the same as a marriage but is easier to dissolve. Nearly a third of couples who registered for marriage last year opted for a registered partnership.
The aging population also plays a role, the stats office said. The group of married couples increasingly consists of couples who have been married for decades. The longer a couple is together, the less likely they are to get divorced.
The number of couples who split up shortly after having a child increased in recent years. Of the couples who had a child in 2013 and lived at the same address at the time, over 11 percent separated within six years. Of parents who had a child in 1998, almost 9 percent split up shortly after. Couples who became parents in 2013 were less likely to split up if they were married before starting a family at 8 percent, compared to 10 percent of unmarried new parents.