Marriages in Spain fell by 46% in the first year of the pandemic


In less than 50 years, heterosexual marriages dropped by more than 300%

A wedding inside the Cathedral of Seville, in the first day
Wedding in the Cathedral of Seville.Europa Press

The number of marriages in Spain declined by 46% in the first year of the pandemic compared to 2019. This decline was significantly higher than in other European countries such as Germany (-10%), Netherlands (-21%). Similar to those verified in Sweden (-22%) or France (-34%), but in other southern Europe such as Italy (-47%) or Portugal (-43%). Another abruption was recorded in Ireland with 53%.

These data come from previous Pay attention to Spanish society, Publication edited by Funcas, which collects data from INE and Eurostat. In Spain, the number of different-sex marriages registered decreased from a maximum of 271,347 registered in 1975 to a minimum of 87,481 in 2020, representing a A decline of more than 300% in less than 50 years,

In fact, except in 2020, during the five years, a year marked by the restrictions of the health crisis Between the end of the crisis and the beginning of the pandemic (2015-2019), the average annual number of marriages (166,000) was below the annual average The five-year period before the post-financial crisis (2003–2007) in which 208,000 were registered.

In general, according to Funkas’s analysis, new marriages present an evolution very dependent on the economic cycle -they fall in the periodic period and increase in the extension period- but above these oscillations, the persistence of decreasing trend.

Focus on Spanish Society It also notes a decline in the proportion of first marriages (over the total number of marriages observed). For example, in Spain, by the year 2000 first marriages represented between 95% and 99% of all marriages; In the first decades of this century, the percentage has been reduced to about 80%. In other European countries with Catholic traditions, such as Italy, Portugal and Ireland, there has been a similar decline in first marriages. Ultimately in all these passes, Nowadays very few unmarried people get married, but more people are married than this.

This general decline in marriage is due to a variety of reasons, among which it should be noted – in addition to the general inclusion of women in the labor market – that the lack of institutional incentives for marriage, such as the abolition of access to employment as a necessary condition. Certain benefits and social services.

In the case of Spain, the loss of significance of marriage is confined to heterosexual couples. Same-sex marriages also fell in 2020 (36 percent for women and 40 percent for men), but less than those occurring among people of the opposite sex. However, same-sex marriages were less than 4% of all those registered that year.


In relation to migration, according to the data of migration statistics, collected in Pay attention to Spanish society, The flow of foreigners entering Spain declined sharply in the first three semesters of the pandemic, but none of them had fewer entries than those registered between 2012 and 2016.

A similar conclusion is drawn from the analysis of emigration data. The departure of foreigners from Spain increased in the first half of 2021. But although these were multiplied by 1.4 compared to the second half of 2019, they were well below those seen during the central years of the post-financial crisis (between 2009 and the second half of 2013).

In 2020, the foreign-born population increased in all European countriesBut in Spain it did so at a higher proportion than in other countries (3%), the same rate in 2017 and less than in 2018. [5%) y 2019 [7%). Al final de ese primer ao de pandemia, la poblacin residente en Espaa nacida en el extranjero supona el 15,2% de la poblacin total, porcentaje superior al de Francia (12,8%) e Italia (10,6%), pero inferior al de Irlanda (17,6%), Alemania (18,2%) y Suecia (19,7%).

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