Wedding and social trends in Europe and Greece


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Trends in Greece


Today the majority of households in Greece are mainly single-person, meaning that a either a man or a woman who decided or happened to live on their own.
According to the European Union’s statistics office (Eurostat), the single-person households rose by almost 4% from the year 2010 to 2018, accounting for the 31.7%. The single-person households are followed by the married couples without children, who reach the 25.8% of all households. Next comes the married couple with children, with a percentage of 21.2% and finally there are the unmarried couples without children for a 15.4%.


household types in Greece

Divorces in Greece rose from 7,725 back in 1993 (or 12.4% of crude divorce rate) to 13,494 in 2005 (22.1%) and further rose to around 15,000/year (30%) during the years 2009-2015 (years in high financial stress). During 2016 there was a fall in divorces, going down to 11,013. In the meanwhile, number of marriages dropped from 62,195 in 1993 to 50,138 in 2017 (figures derived from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)). The civil wedding act, on the other hand, overtook the religious weddings for the first time during the years 2012 to 2015. In 2017 25,163 civil ceremonies have been recorded, whereas the religious wedding fell to 24,975.


Marriage and divorce rates in Greece

Adding to the above figures, realized births from unmarried couples rose from 5.1% in 2004 to 9.4% in 2015, again from figures derived from Eurostat. Single-parent families and other types of households comprise currently the 6.3% of all the households and there has been an increase in single-parent households of the magnitude of 0.5%, from 1.8% to 2.3%, in just 10 years.


European Trends


Single-households are gradually becoming the norm household type in the European continent. See below some numbers on the single households in specific counties:


household types in Greece

It is a natural occurrence from the above statistics that the average family size must have been affected from the social economic forces.


family household sizes in Greece

The average family size in EU dropped from 2.4 back in 2008 to 2.3 in 2018. Greece followed the exact same pattern during these years.
All the average family units and the change occurred from 2008 to 2018 for each country can be seen at below graph:


average household sizes in EU

It is also impressing that almost 2/3 of the households in the European union consist of 1 or 2 people. Households with 3 people are accounting for 15.65 and with 4 people at 13.1%. 5+ person households are at just 5.8%.
Consequently, in the EU the number of households increased from 201 million back in 2007 to 221 million in 2017 (1.01 % annual increase). In Greece, households grew up to 4,393,900.0 in 2017, starting from 4,280,800 in 2007. Percentagewise, the highest increase has been noticed in Cyprus (~2% annually), whereas Croatia had a slight decrease (0.31%) on an annual basis.
In 2018 households with children made up 29.2 % of the total households in the European Union and in Greece the percentage goes to 27.1 %. The list goes on with Ireland leading the way (39 %), followed by Poland (36.5 %) and Cyprus (35.6 %). Countries located below Greece in rankings are Germany (21.8 %) and Finland (21.8 %). Outside the EU, Turkey leads, with 51.1% of its households including children, followed by North Macedonia (49.8 %).


allocation of households with children in EU

The most common type of household in EU is the single adult without children, with a percentage of 33.9%. What follows is the couple without children by 25.1% and then couples with children make up the 19.7%. See below figure for more details.


average household composition in EU

All the above social dynamics for sure can also be depicted in the wedding and divorce statistics throughout the years in Europe. It is a common sense and someone would expect that the weddings are reducing over time, whereas divorces are increasing.
Below graph depicts the long term trends with respect to the crude marriage and divorce rates in Europe from 1965 to 2016. It is clearly shown that there has been a huge decrease in weddings during these years and on the other hand a decent increase in divorces from 0.8 per 1000 habitants to 1.9 per 1000 habitants (an increase of more than 2 times).


Marriage and divorce rates in Greece

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