Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Living room with diamond wedding couple receiving a visit from the local mayor

How many diamond wedding couples are there?

In 2020, 13.9 thousand couples celebrated their 60th (diamond) wedding anniversary. 327 couples had a platinum anniversary after 70 years of marriage and nearly 56 thousand couples attained the status of golden couple after 50 years of marriage. Given the high numbers of marriages in the 1960s and 1970s and increased life expectancy, there are more and more couples with long-term marriages.

The number of ruby or emerald (40 years), silver (25 years) and copper (12.5 years) weddings is actually decreasing. There were fewer marriages and more divorces.

How many diamond wedding couples are there?Copper (12.5 years)59,511Silver (25 years)51,876Ruby / Emerald (40 years)50,762Gold (50 years)55,953Diamond (60 years)13,886Brilliant (65 years)3,381Platinum (70 years)327

Many weddings in the 1960s and 1970s

The 1960s and 1970s saw a relatively high number of marriages, peaking at almost 124 thousand in 1970. This is reflected in the increase in wedding anniversaries of 50 years and over. In recent decades, however, fewer people have married, which means there are also fewer silver and copper weddings to celebrate. About 64 thousand couples have tied the knot annually in recent years, almost half as many as in 1970. The year 2020 was an exception; only 50 thousand weddings took place because of the coronavirus crisis.

Marriages (x 1,000)
Jaar Marriages
1950 83.1
1951 90.2
1952 87.4
1953 85.7
1954 88.1
1955 89.0
1956 92.3
1957 93.6
1958 91.5
1959 88.0
1960 89.1
1961 92.6
1962 93.1
1963 95.4
1964 102.9
1965 108.5
1966 111.9
1967 115.1
1968 117.5
1969 117.4
1970 123.6
1971 122.4
1972 117.5
1973 107.6
1974 109.6
1975 100.1
1976 97.0
1977 93.3
1978 89.1
1979 85.6
1980 90.2
1981 85.6
1982 83.5
1983 78.5
1984 81.7
1985 82.7
1986 87.3
1987 87.4
1988 87.8
1989 90.2
1990 95.6
1991 94.9
1992 93.6
1993 88.3
1994 83.0
1995 81.5
1996 85.1
1997 85.1
1998 87.0
1999 89.4
2000 88.1
2001 82.1
2002 85.8
2003 80.4
2004 73.4
2005 72.3
2006 72.4
2007 72.5
2008 75.4
2009 73.5
2010 75.4
2011 71.6
2012 70.3
2013 64.5
2014 65.3
2015 64.3
2016 65.2
2017 64.4
2018 64.3
2019 63.6
2020 50.2

Living longer

The increase in the number of golden marriages is not only a reflection of the higher number of marriages. The percentage of marriages that are still standing after 50 years has also risen. At the beginning of 2001 there were more than 23 thousand 50‑year marriages, which is 28 percent of the number entered into in 1950. Of the couples who married in 1970, 45 percent were still together at the beginning of 2021. This is mainly because people are living longer. Moreover, since 1990, the life expectancy of men, who are generally a little older than their wives and die a little earlier, has risen faster than that of women. This has increased the chance of both spouses still being alive after 50 or 60 years of marriage.

Marriage dissolutions (per thousand couples)
Jaar Death Divorce
1950 15.6 3.0
1951 15.7 2.8
1952 15.5 2.6
1953 16.1 2.4
1954 15.8 2.4
1955 16.0 2.3
1956 16.4 2.3
1957 15.9 2.2
1958 15.9 2.1
1959 16.0 2.2
1960 16.2 2.2
1961 16.4 2.2
1962 17.0 2.2
1963 17.2 2.2
1964 16.9 2.3
1965 17.4 2.2
1966 17.3 2.4
1967 17.2 2.6
1968 17.5 2.7
1969 17.7 3.0
1970 17.7 3.3
1971 17.3 3.6
1972 17.6 4.6
1973 16.8 5.5
1974 16.5 5.8
1975 17.0 6.0
1976 16.7 6.2
1977 16.2 6.3
1978 16.5 6.5
1979 16.2 7.0
1980 16.3 7.5
1981 16.3 8.3
1982 16.4 9.0
1983 16.3 9.4
1984 16.4 9.9
1985 16.7 9.9
1986 16.9 8.7
1987 16.4 8.1
1988 16.4 8.1
1989 16.7 8.1
1990 16.4 8.1
1991 16.4 8.1
1992 16.3 8.6
1993 17.0 8.6
1994 16.5 10.2
1995 16.5 9.7
1996 16.8 9.9
1997 16.4 9.6
1998 16.5 9.2
1999 16.6 9.5
2000 16.6 9.8
2001 16.5 10.5
2002 16.6 9.4
2003 16.5 8.9
2004 16.1 8.9
2005 16.1 9.1
2006 15.9 9.1
2007 15.8 9.2
2008 15.9 9.3
2009 15.9 8.9
2010 16.2 9.5
2011 16.1 9.5
2012 16.6 9.7
2013 16.7 9.9
2014 16.5 10.4
2015 17.3 10.1
2016 17.5 9.9
2017 17.5 9.7
2018 18.0 9.2
2019 17.9 8.9

Divorce

At between 55 and 60 percent, the percentage of marriages that are still intact after 40 years has remained fairly stable over the past two decades. The share of couples completing 25 years of marriage has fallen from 73 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2017 and has remained fairly stable since then. This is mainly due to divorces. Since the early 1970s, the number of divorces has risen sharply. In 1971, the divorce rate was 12 percent; ten years later, more than twice as many marriages ended in divorce (26 percent). In 2019, the divorce rate was 37 percent.

The questions

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Infographics

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Taalcentrum VU

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