Nuptiality

Until the half of the 1960s the nuptiality in the whole Europe increased or, from the current standpoint, sustained at the high level. It was common that more than 90 % of men and women contracted the marriage at least once during their life. The dominant model of the partner coexistence was the married couple with children. At the end of the 60s the model of cohabitation in Western Europe begins to change. The consequence was the decrease in nuptiality; the marriages were more often replaced by the coexistence without marriage.

The nuptiality did not decrease in Slovakia, conversely, the traditional forms of partner coexistence have reinforced even more. Thus, the significant changes in our country are related only to the period of the beginning of 90s, when the substantial changes in the demographic behaviour of population occur, especially in case of the young generation. The marriage and the family establishment were in a competition with extended possibilities of self-assertion. The economic pressure forces the young people to rethink the important life steps in a more responsible way. The nuptiality reacted very quickly to the change in social relations. The lower intensity of nuptiality, a higher age at marriage and a higher occurrence of co-habitations without marriage became part of the demographic behaviour.

The nuptiality decreased most radically in 1993 and 1994. Since 1996, the decrease of nuptiality has decelerated and in 2001 it has stopped at values, which are nearly half in comparison to the end of the eightieth. In 2002 a positive break point in the nuptiality development occurred - number of marriages began to rise. The realisation of postponed marriages from previous years has taken place. This short period of time ended in 2005, when number of marriages decreased again. During the first half of 90s relatively stable nuptiality behaviour of Slovak population in 80s has changed. The nuptiality decreased in all age groups while in the lowest age groups the decrease was faster. In 2004 marriage rates of population aged 15-24 temporary increased. In 2005 intensity of nuptiality significantly decreased in all young age categories of men women again. At the age of 35 and over, the nuptiality development might be marked as stagnation. Until the end of 20th century the maximal levels of marriage rate were kept by population aged 20-24. At the present the highest marriage rates are shifted towards the older category of people aged 25-29. Formally, this fact appears as an increase of the mean age at marriage, which in Slovakia belonged to the lowest in Europe in the past. The actual value of mean age at marriage is 30.45 years for men and 27.34 for women.

From the long-term standpoint a decrease in the share of single engaged couples can be considered as a remarkable feature of the nuptiality in the SR. The share of mutually single couples represents circa 84 % of total number of marriages.

Today most cases of partnership coexistence are realised through marriage. Although cohabitation is not so widely spread as in some countries of West and North Europe, the number of cohabitations is increasing. It is also documented by increase by 30 % in last decade.