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Birth, death and matrimony: life goes on

There were more births – and more twins – in 2013 Keystone


This content was published on July 3, 2014 - 13:55
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office show there were more births and deaths last year in Switzerland, but fewer weddings and divorces. The average age for a mother to give birth was 31.6 years old and twins became more common.

A total of 82,700 new babies were born last year – a number that is higher than the entire population of the city of Lucerne and an increase of 500 on 2012. As is true every year in Switzerland, more boys arrived than girls. The number of twins being born also increased; since 1970 the number of twin births in Switzerland has doubled.

The number of people who died in Switzerland in 2013 grew by 1.2% to 65,000. It was the highest number of deaths since 1918, the year of the Spanish flu epidemic. This has to do partly with an ageing population.

The average life expectancy for males born in 2013 was 80.5 years, whereas the life expectancy of females was 84.8 years. Canton Basel City had the highest number of deaths (10.9 per 1000 inhabitants) and canton Zug had the lowest (6.5 per thousand).

The average number of marriages per year in Switzerland has hovered around the 40,000 mark since the mid-1990s. In 2013 there were 39,800 marriage, 6.7% fewer than in 2012. According to the Federal Statistical Office this was primarily because December 12, 2012, was a popular date to marry (12.12.2012). There were 690 registered partnerships between gay (460) and lesbian (230) couples.  

The number of divorces in 2013 was 17,100 and was slightly lower than in 2012, when 17,500 divorces took place. The statistical office predicts that two in five couples who married in 2013 will divorce at some point.

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