Last year, one in ten women who married for the first time were over the age of 40 versus one in hundred in 1980. As more and more couples live together before they marry, the marriage date is more often postponed.
First-marriage brides older
More than 73 thousand marriages were performed last year, as many as in 2009. For one fifth of brides, it was their second marriage.
The average age for women at first marriage has steadily risen from 23 to 30 over the past three decades.
Age women at first marriage
Nearly 6 thousand women over the age of 40 married for the first time versus 800 in 1980. Three quarters of first-time brides were younger than 25, as against one in five today.
Four in five couples were living together prior to their marriage
Currently, bride and groom are older because four in five couples who married for the first time during the period 2000-2008 have lived together prior to their marriage. With 90 percent, the proportion is even higher among couples not belonging to a religious denomination and Roman Catholics. Living together before marriage is relatively rare in Muslim couples.
Couples who have lived together before they got married for the first time
Nearly one in five couples already have children before they get married
More than half of first-time mothers are not married and the proportion has been rising for years. Nearly one in five couples who married for the first time in the period 2000-2008 already had children and the proportion with children was highest among non-religious couples. Most Muslim couples had no children when they got married for the first time.
Couples with child(ren) at date of their first marriage
Arie de Graaf and Jan Latten