Sunday. 02.10.2022

Fewer marriages, more divorces in Finland during the pandemic

In relative terms, the divorce rate was much higher among same-sex couples.
Photo: Pixabay.

The coronavirus epidemic in Finland appears to be on the decline and society is preparing to reopen after a year and a half of restrictions, closures and telecommuting.

Future scientific studies will explain what are the social and health consequences of what the population has experienced in these months, but there are already some statistical data on how people have behaved in this exceptional period.

According to Statistics Finland's figures on changes in marital status, 13,478 marriages ended in divorce in 2020.

2020 was the second successive year when the number of divorces grew. But the annual changes in the numbers have been small enough to maintain the divorce rate at a similar level for over 20 years: 13 to 14 divorces per 1,000 married women or men.

Still, in 2020 the divorce rate grew for women in nearly all age groups and for men in most age groups - with the exception of those aged 45 to 54 and 65 or over- compared with 2019.

In first marriages between opposite-sex spouses, the average age for women at the time of divorce was 41.1 years. The corresponding average age of men was 43.4.

Screenshot 2021-06-18 at 10-08-48 Statistics Finland - Changes in marital status 2020Source: Statistics Finland.

Same-sex spouses

The number of divorces among same-sex couples was 157, which is clearly higher than that previous year, 126.

In relative terms, 21 out of every 1,000 same-sex unions ended in divorce, a much higher rate than among heterosexual couples.

Finland recorded a total of 22,082 marriages in 2020, which is 214 less than a year before. Of them, 21,687 were marriages between opposite-sex couples, which is 233 fewer than in the year before.

Same-sex partners entered into 395 marriages, 19 more than in the previous year. Of them, 123 were between two men and 272 between two women.

In 2019, the number of marriages also went down by 1,503.

The most popular month for entering into marriage in 2020 was August, when 3,686 couples got married. July was the second most popular with 2,814 couples.

Fewer marriages, more divorces in Finland during the pandemic