Latest data by Eurostat shows that marriages in Romania have decreased by 0.2 percent (2013 against 2012), while divorces decreased by 9.6 percent (2012 against 2011).
The downward trend observed in Romania is spread across Europe, with 2.1 million marriages and 986 thousand divorces taking place in the EU-28 in 2011. These figures may be expressed as 4.2 marriages for every 1,000 persons (the crude marriage rate) and 2.0 divorces for every 1,000 persons (the crude divorce rate).
While for many member states the crude marriage rate was highest in 2013, Romania registered 5.4 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants both in 2013 and 2012, up from 2011 (5.2), but lower than previous years.
Among EU member states for which data are available, crude marriage rates were highest in Albania (8.2 per 1,000 persons) and Turkey (7.9), while the lowest were reported for Slovenia and Bulgaria (3.0 marriages per 1,000 persons), Portugal (3.1), Luxembourg and Italy (both 3.2).
Since 1965, the crude marriage rate in the EU-28 has declined by close to 50 percent in relative terms (from 7.8 in 1965 to 4.2 in 2011). At the same time, the crude divorce rate increased from 0.8 per 1,000 persons in 1965 to 2.0 in 2011. Part of this increase is due to the fact that in several member states divorce was legalised during the period (for example, in Italy, Spain, Ireland and Malta).
In Romania, the divorce crude rate went down from1.8 per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 1.6 in 2012, to 1.4 in 2013.
During the period 2011-2013, Ireland (0.6 per 1,000 persons in 2012), Slovenia (1.1 in 2013) and several southern European member states — Malta (0.8 in 2013), Italy (0.9 in 2012) and Greece (1.3 in 2012) — had significantly lower crude divorce rates than several northern member states, notably Latvia (3.5 per 1,000 persons in 2013), Lithuania and Denmark (both 3.4 in 2013).
The proportion of live births outside marriage in Romania kept approximately constant between 2011 and 2013, at around 30 percent, lower than the European average of 40 percent.
The EU average has continued to increase, signalling new patterns of family formation alongside the more traditional pattern where children were born within marriage. Extramarital births occur in non-marital relationships, among cohabiting couples and to lone parents — outnumbering births inside marriages in several EU member states.
In the EU-28 as a whole, some 40 perent of children were born outside marriage in 2012, while the corresponding figure for 2000 was 27.3 percent. Extra-marital births increased in almost every member state in the EU-28 during 2012 as compared with 2011 (Romania had a 1 percent increase), with the exception of Estonia. In seven member states the majority of live births were outside marriage: Bulgaria (59.1 percent in 2013), Estonia (58.4 percent in 2012), Slovenia (58.0 percent in 2013), France (56.7 percent in 2012), Sweden (54.4 percent in 2013), Belgium (52.3 percent in 2012) and Denmark (51.5 percent in 2013). An even higher proportion of live births outside of marriage was registered in 2012 in Iceland (66.9 percent). Mediterranean countries like Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy and Malta, along with Poland and Lithuania are at the other end of the scale with a large proportion, of over 70 percent, of births occurred within marriage. In Turkey this share was over 97 percent.