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Swiss ‘traditional family model’ continues to evolve

Last year the number of marriages in Switzerland fell, while divorces rose and more children were born out of wedlock, according to new figures published by the Federal Statistical Office.

Data published by the statistics office on Thursday showed that a majority of children born last year belonged to a married couple. But the number of children born out of wedlock rose by 7.1%.

The number of paternity suits also rose to 19,500 cases last year (+8.4%).

Marriages (41,900) were less popular but were down by only 1.1%. Registered same-sex partnerships were also down to 700 (-2.6%) in 2015, but were more popular among men than women (440 versus 260, respectively).

Divorces were also up, for the first time since 2010. Last year the number of divorces per resident stood at two per thousand. While residents of the traditional rural canton Appenzell Outer-Rhodes in eastern Switzerland had the fewest divorces (0.9 per thousand), those in canton Neuchâtel in western French-speaking Switzerland had the most (2.5 per thousand).

The fertility rate remained stable at 1.54 children per woman in 2015. The rising number of children born was a result of an overall increase in the Swiss population, which now stands at 8.2 million.

Most cantons saw an increase in the number of births. Zurich had the highest rate per resident (11.6 per thousand), while Italian-speaking Ticino the lowest (8.4 per thousand). The average is 10.5 per thousand. 

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