The Netherlands records lowest number of divorces in over 40 years

The Netherlands records lowest number of divorces in over 40 years

New figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) have revealed that last year the Netherlands recorded its lowest number of divorces since 1980, with around 25.600 marriages ending in divorce in 2021.

Dutch divorce rate has been falling steadily since 2014 

After rising considerably between the 1960s and 1980s, the Dutch divorce rate has been relatively stable since the mid-1990s, when, in 1994, 10,2 divorces were recorded for every 1.000 couples. However, since peaking at 10,4 in 2014, the Netherlands has seen a steady decrease in the number of married couples choosing to get divorced

In fact, preliminary figures show that only 7,8 out of every 1.000 married couples filed for a divorce in 2021, making it the Netherlands’ lowest annual divorce rate since 1980. CBS notes that fewer divorces are also being recorded amongst newly married couples, but that the divorce rate amongst new parents continues to rise: “Of the couples who had a child in 2013, more than 11 percent had separated within six years.” 

Fewer young couples in the Netherlands choose to get married

CBS reports that this decrease is a result of a number of factors, most notably the country’s ageing population as well as the fact that younger generations are now less likely to get married and, if they do tie the knot, it's normally slightly later in life. 

“More and more couples live together without being married, even if they have children,” the statistics office explains. “[Couples] more often live together without being married or opt for a registered partnership. As a result, the group of married couples increasingly consists of couples who have been married for decades… [and] couples who have been together longer divorce less often.”

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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