Big rise in the number of singles in Belgium
Eight years on we are seeing more bachelors and less weddings.
According to figures released by the Belgian statistics office, the number of single people in Belgium is continuing to rise. The research is based on a questionnaire from 2001 and statistics from the National Population Register between 2001 and 2006.
The sharpest rise in the number of single people was in the 25 to 29 age category. 21.5% of men in this age group don’t have a partner, which is well up on the figure from the early 1980s when just 8.2% of men between 25 and 29 were not in a relationship. The figures for women of the same age are much lower. 14.9% of women aged between 25 and 29 didn’t have a partner in 2006, compared to 5.8% in 1981.
There has also been a big rise in the number of unmarried couples with children.
In the 30 to 34 age category, 11.9% of men and 12.8% of women with children live with a partner that they are not married to. The study concludes that living together is no longer seen as a prelude to getting married. Living together has long been acceptable in Francophone Belgium. However, in Flanders it has only started to gain popularity in recent years.
The study also reveals an increase in the number of single parents. The percentage of single mothers aged between 40 and 44 rose from 6.4% in 1981 to 15.2% in 2006. The percentage of single fathers of the same age is much lower at 2.6%.