Few widow(er)s remarry

12/03/2009 15:00

One in five people who marry nowadays have been married before. People who remarry are more often divorced than widowed.

More than 75 thousand marriages in 2008

In 2008, more than 75 thousand marriages were registered, over 3 thousand more than in 2007. Initially, the favourable economic situation in 2008 had a positive effect on the number of marriages. The bridegroom averaged 36 years of age, the bride 33 years. One fifth of people who got married had been married before.

In 1950, people were keener to marry than nowadays. In 1950, 83 thousand marriages were registered, i.e. 5 marriages per 100 non-married persons, as against 2 in 2008. The average age for men and women to marry was 30 and 27 respectively. One in ten men and women who married in 1950 had been married before.

People who remarry are usually above the age of 40

The number of second and third marriages increases sharply among over-40s. In 2007, half of people who got married over the age of 40, married for the second or third time. This applies to more than 80 percent of over-60s. Strikingly, the proportion of female over-30s marrying for the second or third time was higher in 2007 than in 1950 and the proportion of male over-30s who remarry was lower than in 1950. 

Non-first marriages, men

Non-first marriages, men

People who remarry more often divorced than widowed

Unlike in 1950, people who remarried in 2007 were more much more often divorced than widowed.
The change in the remarriage pattern is predominantly due to an increase in the number of divorces and a reduction in the number of people who die in middle age. Fewer young and middle-aged men and women are widowed and as a result the average marriage lasts longer than in 1950. Old people, who are widowed, are less eager to remarry. Besides, a LAT relation is also an acceptable alternative nowadays.

Non-first marriages, women

Non-first marriages, women

Arie de Graaf