Marriage and babies are in vogue
There were more births and marriages in Switzerland in 2009, but fewer divorces, according to the latest figures.
The Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday that the average number of children per woman had risen to 1.5, up from 1.48 in 2008 and 1.38 in 2001. But it is still lower than the 2.1 needed to sustain the population.
In all, 78,300 children were born in 2009, up 2.1 per cent on 2008. While women under 30 years old are having fewer babies, those over 35 are having more, with a 43 per cent increase on 2001, the office said in a statement.
There was a 0.9 per cent rise in marriages with 09.09.09 being a particularly popular date to tie the knot (1,000 couples). On the other end of the scale, the number of divorces dropped by 1.5 per cent on 2008.
Compared with other countries, Switzerland still stands out for the low percentage of births outside marriage at 17.9 per cent in 2009. This compares to a European Union average of 33 per cent (2007).
The country also enjoys a high life expectancy of both men and women, at 79.8 years old and 84.4 years old respectively. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes is closing, at 4.6 years in 2009 compared with 6.9 years in 1992.
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