Brno, Czech Republic – Czechs are getting married at an increasingly later age, according to local media Novinky.cz, citing data from the Czech statistical office.
For the first time last year, the average age at which Czech women decided to tie the knot passed the 30-year mark. As a comparison, women usually got married at the age of 22 in 1989.
Weddings and first-born children postponed to later age
The average marriage age for Czech men followed a similar trend, rising from 25 years old in the last years of communism to 33 today.
The figure has been steadily increasing for both sexes since the early 1990s.
According to analysts, the sudden increase recorded last year is at least partly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While younger couples in their mid-20s might have decided to postpone their wedding as a result of stringent restrictions and health concerns, older ones – less concerned with having the “perfect” wedding – would have been more prone to go ahead with their plans, according to Petra Sauer, head of the local Easy Wedding agency.
Nearly half of Czech marriages end in divorce
Furthermore, the overall share of Czechs deciding to tie the knot plummeted over the past decades. While more than 90% of Czechs got married throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the figure now stands at approximately 50% and 60% for men and women, respectively.
Czech women are also having their first child at an older age, with the average age of first-time mothers increasing from 23 in the 1960s to over 28 last year.
Initial data additionally suggest the divorce rate has recorded a short drop in the last few years, falling from 50% (half of marriages eventually ending in divorce) in 2010 to “only” 40% in 2020.
Last year, experts predicted that the number of breakups and divorces, while often put on hold during the first wave of Covid-19 as families and couples came together to face the unprecedented situation, was set to increase during the second wave of the pandemic (figures for the first half of 2021 should soon be able to show whether that prediction was correct or not).
Marriages ending in divorce today last on average 13 to 14 years, according to the Czech statistical office.