Children born outside marriage in Europe rise to 40 percent of total

26th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

The number of children born outside marriage in Europe has doubled over two decades to 40 percent, with Estonia, Slovenia and France registering almost three out of every five births out of wedlock, EU data showed Tuesday.

Across Europe, the percentage soared from 17.4 percent in 1990 to 39.5 percent in 2011, said the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat.

But in Estonia the figure was 59.7 percent in 2011, followed by Slovenia at 56.8 percent, France at 55.8, Sweden 54.3 and Belgium with 50 percent.

The highest marriage rate meanwhile was in Cyprus, with 7.3 marriages for every 1,000 people against an EU average of 4.4 percent in 2010 -- down from 6.3 percent in 1990.

The lowest marriage rate was in Bulgaria at 2.9 percent, followed by Slovenia at 3.2 percent, Luxembourg 3.3 percent and 3.4 percent in Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Latvia meanwhile saw the highest divorce rate at four per every 1,000 people and Malta the lowest with 0.1 percent.

© 2013 AFP

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