The number of couples deciding to get married in Croatia has been going down during the last ten years, according to statistics from the Central Bureau of Statistics, showing that in 2009 there were 22,382 marriages in Croatia, and in 2018 the number was 19,921.
This is still slightly higher than the record in 2013, when there were the least number of marriages in the previous decade, or 19,169 marriages, as emphasized by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Some counties, however, lead the way in the number of marriages. The highest rate of marriages in 2018 was in Pozega-Slavonia and Brod-Posavina County (6.1 per thousand inhabitants), followed by Vukovar-Srijem County (5.9), while the lowest rate was recorded in Istria County (3.8).
In addition to frequency, the way of getting married is changing with years. Between 2009 and 2018, the number of civil marriages increased and the number of religious marriages decreased. In 2009, 36.5 percent of marriages were civil, and according to the latest available data for 2018, that share rose to 49.9 percent. Accordingly, there were 50.1 percent of religious marriages in 2018, according to a press release.
According to the Ministry of Administration, in 2018, 55 life partnerships were made in Croatia, most of them (35) in Zagreb. Over the years, the months in which most weddings have taken place have also changed.
In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the most popular months for entering marital waters were January, February and December, and in the 1980s, the winter months were replaced by April. In the last fifteen years, most weddings took place in late summer and early autumn, during September and October.
The trend continued in 2018, when most couples decided to place their most important day in September.
Over the course of time, the age of brides and grooms has changed - more than half a century ago, married couples were in their early twenties. In 1960, the average age of the bride at first marriage was 22.6 and the groom 25.8 years.
In 50 years, the age for both increased by five years, so in 2010 the average bride was 27.3 years old and the groom was 30.1 years. The trend of late marriage continued into 2018, when bride's age was on average 28.7 years and groom 31.3 years.
Although many changes in society have taken place over the decades, this analysis shows that this did not bypass the behavior of married couples, however one item is constant. Men continue to get married and are on average nearly three years older than their wives.
On the other hand, in 2009 there were 5076 divorces, then the number grew over the years, peaking in 2016 (7036 divorces), after which the annual divorce rate began to decrease, and in 2018, 6125 divorced couples were recorded.
Marriages that came to an end in 2018 lasted an average of 14.9 years and spouses were mostly in their early forties.