Fewer registered partnerships formed in 2022
In 2022, more than 24 thousand partnerships were registered; 2 thousand less than in the previous year. On the other hand, marriage registrations increased. More couples got married than in the pre-pandemic years. Following the implementation of coronavirus measures, fewer people got married in 2020 and 2021, but the number of couples entering into a registered partnership was still rising. The coronavirus measures possibly led to a number of couples opting for a partnership rather than marriage.
|Jaar||Marriage (x 1,000)||Registered partnership (x 1,000)|
More and more straight couples choosing partnership
Registered partnerships were introduced in 1998, mainly in order to allow same-sex couples to formalise their relationship. In the first year, 3 thousand same-sex couples entered into a registred partnership: 1.7 thousand male couples and 1.3 thousand female couples. These numbers declined in subsequent years. Since 2001, when same-sex couples were allowed to marry for the first time, the majority have opted for marriage.
Straight couples already opted for registered partnership in the first year, although they still formed a minority. Over the years, this form of commitment has received growing interest from straight couples.
Meanwhile, around one quarter of all couples who go to the civil registry opt for the partnership. There have been several legislative changes through the years which have influenced formal relationship commitments: Most recently, in April 2014, marriage and registered partnership were officially made equal in cases of legal parenthood being granted to fathers as well as partners in couples of the same sex. Following the implementation of this change, registered partnership rapidly became more popular.
|Jaar||Opposite-sex couples ( x 1,000)||Same-sex couples ( x 1,000)|
Partnership couples increasingly younger on average
Initially, couples opting for a registered partnership were on average older than couples who married. In the meantime the average age is hardly different; people who enter into a partnership are even slightly younger. Since 1998, the average age of people at a partnership ceremony has declined, while that of people who married has continued to increase.
|Jaar||Male married partner (Age)||Female married partner (Age)||Male registered partner (Age)||Female registered partner (Age)|
Partnership more often associated with major life events
Registered partners seem to adopt a more business-like approach towards the relationship than married partners. For example, weddings are relatively likely to be held on Fridays in spring and late summer. For partnership ceremonies, the Monday is the most popular day and they take place in any season throughout the year. More often than marriages, partnerships are also likely accompanied by an important event such as moving house or having a child. For example, 53 percent of couples who entered into a partnership in recent years had a child and/or moved house within a year. This was 32 percent among married couples.
- StatLine - Marriages and partnership registrations; key figures
- News release - More people getting married in 2022
- Publication - What are our favourite wedding dates? What about partnership registrations? - The Netherlands in numbers 2020
- News release - Weddings on Valentine's Day
- News release - 20 years of gay marriage in the Netherlands: 20 thousand couples