Swedes are marrying like mad

The Scandieland editors
2 min readMar 19, 2017

People in Sweden are getting hitched — and divorced — at a far greater rate than other Europeans.

Scandies are fairly secular, and they enjoy a good wedding, marriage rates have generally been declining for a long time. But Sweden appears to be bucking the trend.

Indeed, according to a recent(ish) report Sweden’s statistics office, the country’s marriage is comfortably higher than the EU average — and rising.

Nonetheless, most children are still born to unmarried parents, divorce remains fairly common, and the average age at which people are getting hitched is also getting higher and higher. From the report:

Contrary to trends in the rest of the EU, marriage in Sweden has become more common during the 2000s. The crude marriage rate, that is, how common it is to get married, is also higher in Sweden than in the EU member countries in total. At the same time, many people live together without being married, and the majority of children are born out of wedlock.

In 2013, 51 554 marriages were entered into in Sweden. The number of marriages has varied in recent years, but the trend is that it has become more common to marry. We see this when looking at the share of marriages per 1000 inhabitants, the crude divorce rate, which has increased from 4.5 in 2000 to 5.4 in 2013.

Number of marriages and crude marriage rate, 2000–2013

It is also more common to get married in Sweden compared with the rest of the EU. The latest available crude divorce rate for all 28 member states of the EU is 4.2 (2011).

If we look at the population of those over age 20, a total of 43.9 percent were married. Women are on average younger than men when they marry for the first time. The mean age for persons marrying for the first time was 33.0 years for women and 35.7 years for men.

Marrying later in life is another trend. Since 2000 the mean age for marriage for women as well as men has increased by nearly three years. Looking back to the 1960s we see that the mean age for marriage has increased by about ten years.

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The Scandieland editors

Nordic news, analyses and features - straight from the sauna.