Younger newly married Norwegians

A total of 24 600 couples were married in 2009, 10 200 marriages were dissolved by divorce and 11 900 couples were separated. The number of contracted marriages decreased slightly, while the number of divorces and separations was at the same level as in 2008.

Compared to 2008, the number of contracted marriages decreased by around 500, but except for a couple of years, this is the highest number since the mid-1970s.

Age at marriage decreasing

In 2009, the average age of married males and females decreased for the first time since the beginning of the 1970s, for both first-time married and all married. For first-time married men the average age was 33.8 years, and for women it was 31.0 years. This is a decrease of 0.3 and 0.2 year compared with 2008.

Marriage rate highest in the age group 30-34 years

For both men and women, the marriage rate for first-time married per 1 000 mean population of never married was highest in the age group 30-34 years. The marriage rate for men has been highest in this age group for the last 15 years. For women the rate was almost as high in the age group 25-29 years, as it has been for the last year.

1 out of 5 were married abroad

In 2009, 20 per cent of newlyweds were married abroad. Since 1986, when statistics on marriages abroad began, the number married abroad has increased by 15 percentage points.

Most marriages in August

Many marriages take place during the summer months, and 47 per cent of all the marriages last year took place in June, July and August. Almost 20 per cent of all the marriages were in August.

No change in the number of divorces

A total of 10 200 marriages were dissolved by divorce last year. The divorce rate, divorces per 1 000 married and separated women, was 11.6; the same as last year. For men, the divorce rate was highest in the age group 40-44 years, and for women it was highest in the age groups 35-39 years and 40-44 years.

Last year, 11 900 couples were separated, which is an increase of 200 compared with the year before. The separation rate, separated per 1 000 married women, was 14.1.

In 2009, 10 000 children under 18 years of age were involved in divorces and 13 400 children under 18 had parents who separated.

On 1 January 2009 the Marriage Act was changed in such a way that two persons of the same sex may marry. Simultaneously, partnerships can no longer be contracted. Persons already in a partnership can change their partnership to a marriage.

During the first year of the new Marriage Act, 283 couples of the same sex were married, 105 male couples and 178 female couples. When the law of partnership came into force in 1993, the majority who contracted a partnership were men, but since 2006 more women have contracted a partnership.

A total of 653 partnerships, or 32 per cent of the 2 014 partnerships existing at the beginning of 2009, were changed to marriage during 2009; 293 male couples and 360 female couples. About 60 per cent of these conversions happened in January and February.

In 43 per cent of the same sex marriages the oldest spouse was living in Oslo. The average age of the oldest spouse was 39.5 years, and the youngest spouse was 34.5 years.

Source: Statistics Norway

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