Marriage continues to lose its appeal in Switzerland

Foreigners in Switzerland are more reluctant to tie the knot. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

The number of marriages in Switzerland dropped by over 6% in 2019 and the divorce rate is on the rise among resident foreigners.  

The trend of declining number of marriages continues. A total of 38,200 couples tied the knot in 2019, a decrease of 6.2% compared to the year before, according to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office on Monday.  

The lack of appetite for the institution of marriage was seen across all segments of the population but was especially marked among foreign residents. The decline in marriages was 4.6% among the Swiss but 13.1% among the foreign population. Mixed marriages (Swiss with non-Swiss) also declined by 5.1%.  

While same sex couples do not have the right to marry in Switzerland, fewer opted to enter into registered partnerships in 2019. Close to 650 same-sex couples made their relationships official last year, a drop of 7.9% compared to 2018.  

The number of divorces saw a slight increase in 2019 with 16,600 marriages being dissolved (an increase of 0.4%). The rise was largely due to the high divorce rate among foreigners which increased significantly from 3,900 to 4,300 (10.4%). 


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