In 2003 82.6 thousand couples married, just over 3 thousand fewer than in the previous year.
The number of gay marriages accounted for only a small share of the total number: 1.5 thousand same-sex couple married in 2003. In 2002 this figures was 1.8 thousand.
The number of marriages in 2003 contrasts sharply with the more than 120 thousand contracted in the early seventies. Since then unmarried cohabitation has become more popular and marriage has lost ground.
Marriages per month
Summer weddings preferred
The summer was the most popular time of year to get married. The top wedding months were May, June, August and September. The number of marriages fell by nearly two-thirds in the winter months. In December 2003, for example, fewer than 4 thousand couples married, compared with 11 thousand in June.
Male and female marriage partners
More men than women
Slightly more men than women married. The reason for this is that some people marry foreign partners who are not recorded in the Dutch population register. More men than women marry a foreign partner.
Percentage of men and women remarrying
For one in five brides and grooms, the marriage was not the first one. The number of people remarrying has risen in recent years. Relatively more men than women remarry.