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Fewer Germans tying the knot

DDP/The Local · 5 Apr 2010, 12:40

Published: 05 Apr 2010 12:40 GMT+02:00

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Figures from the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) reveal a startling rise in the number of people who never marry, according a weekend report in Welt am Sonntag newspaper. The figures are likely to stoke concerns about Germany’s chronically low birth rate.

“The importance of marriage has dropped off dramatically,” said Jürgen Dorbritz the BiB researcher who gathered the figures. “Germans have lost their enthusiasm for marriage.”

The development was most striking among men in the former East German states. Just 12 percent remained unmarried for life in 1980, a figure that has shot up to 41 percent today.

Some 31.8 percent of women from the former East remain unmarried, compared with 8 percent in 1980.

In the former West, the proportion of men who never marry has risen from 24 percent to 36.2 percent over the same period. For western women, the rise was from 14 percent to 30.5 percent.

On the whole, twice as many people today never marry compared with 1980.

Senior Christian Social Union parliamentarian Johannes Singhammer branded the figures an “extremely alarming development,” that jeopardised the sustainability of society.

“People will come to realise that the welfare state can never offer the security of the traditional family,” he told the paper.

Story continues below…

Hans Bertram a sociologist who advises the Ministry of Family Affairs, said single men and women were not generally basing their decisions on any kind of opposition to marriage per se. Rather, they often lacked job security when they were young, a fact that made them less likely to marry.

“Therefore they are behaving quite rationally if they are not having children and don’t form firm relationships," he said.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:43 April 5, 2010 by cocovelvet
Now.... the biggest mistake that ever occured in my life ; BEING MARRIED. What a hellhole that can be especially married to someone who was married before......

Really, sharing your own life with someone else's seem a real pain in the a*** ...... envy you singles out there. KEEP IT UP..... I'M ON MY WAY TO JOIN YOU GUYS... heee !!heee!!!heeee!!!!
21:50 April 5, 2010 by Jibzy
With nothing personal against cocovelvet, i would say that you are either very unlucky or are very intelligent. You're so intelligent that no one could fit to your standards of intelligence..or you're so unlucky that you cudnt find him/her.
23:00 April 5, 2010 by wxman
Once you're in your 40s, you're better off remaining single. Your only choices are multiple-time marriage losers who statistically are off the charts to lose again. Or, you have the perenially single who, by this age, are permanently set in their ways and cannot adjust to married life. Best advice: Enjoy the social scene and don't worry about commitment.
01:02 April 6, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I must say that this article is one of the most "useful" that I've seen on The Local. It covers issues concerning both morality and preservation.

Humans often fail at what they do because they have not received the necessary education. Aristotle once said "No one wants to suffer". However, people struggle simply because they lack the know-how.

Marriage can be a an extraodinary expericence, if done appropriately. Sex outside of marriage is NOT OK. Not only is immoral, there are many other problems associate with this practice too.

Kids are very important because they are needed to preserve humanity. In Germany's case, their identity is slowly dying. Without economic and social changes, then eventually it will. Obviously someone needs to step forward and become the leader Deutschland really needs.
03:34 April 6, 2010 by vonSchwerin
wxman, you raise an interesting point. I have several (female) friends who have never married and who are in the 35-45 age range. As they get older, their good options really dwindle. They have the choice between someone divorced or someone never married.

The Divorced Man

Of course, there are lots of guys out there who married young, and it was a mistake. One divorce is probably not indicative of anything. But if the person has been divorced more than once before, the odds of additional/future marriages failing are high. It raises red flags.

The Lifelong Bachelor

If the guy reaches 40 or 45 and has never been married, you have to wonder why. (Unwilling to compromise in relationship? Momma's boy? Peter Pan syndrome? A player?) Can he deal with marriage and all the changes it necessitates?

Maybe they are better off remaining unmarried ("ledig") after a certain point. But then again, studies have shown that married people live longer and have stronger support networks as they grow older. It's a really tough situation without great options for all those deutsche Frauen.
11:28 April 6, 2010 by William Thirteen
i agree with Logic Guy: "Sex outside of marriage is NOT OK" - it is f**kin' fantastic!
17:25 April 6, 2010 by michael4096
They have the choice between someone divorced or someone never married.
Without breaking the law, so do we all, regardless of age or gender.
Sex outside of marriage is NOT OK.
Time to change your handle, Logic Guy. How about: Puritan Guy?
20:03 April 6, 2010 by berlinski
Cannot say I would want to be married with kids in this country. Too much uncertainty to plan a family.
21:49 April 6, 2010 by Dinaricman
What is wrong with you germans. Do you not understand that you will be extinct soon. Is this your goal. Maybe I need to go to Germany to teach you.
04:51 April 7, 2010 by wenddiver
Nothing says happines like a 60 year old unmarried, childless woman. Trust me, the left are wrong a fufilling career will not replace Grand-children for Women.

As for Men the only thing they care about after 50 is eating and TV, so really it is up to Women to impose marriage.
08:56 April 7, 2010 by moistvelvet
What this article/study fails to mention is that many people who are not married may actually be in a relationship but opt not to marry even when they do have children. The system that exists actually discourages marriage when increased benefits and special intrest rates are offered to unmarried parents because the mother can class herself as a single mom! All because people are not getting married does not mean they are not having children.

As for the options available for a 35-40 woman that has never married, well isn't it just the same for the men? Either a spinster who couldn't/wouldn't commit to a relationship earlier or a divorcee who for whatever reasons failed the first time round, afterall the young-divorcee men had to marry someone.

Another factor might be higher education, students approaching their 30s slowly working towards their Bachelors, no hurry to start work, then continuing towards a Masters or Doctorate before embarking on the journey of family life possibly find they've missed the boat and end up simply bachelors and spinsters.
13:21 April 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"What is wrong with you germans. Do you not understand that you will be extinct soon. Is this your goal. Maybe I need to go to Germany to teach you."

Looks like peshvogel's back under a different identity.

@Logic Guy:

Nothing kills the enjoyment of sex faster than marriage. That goes for both genders.
14:46 April 7, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
Wow...anyone have the numbers on how many of these third of the female population/ 40 percent of the male population who are having/not having offspring?

(In the US part of the problem - yes, Dan Quayle was right - is generational welfare-based single parenting resulting in massive social problems.)
15:07 April 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The article doesn't have anything to do with unmarried people having offspring. And Dan Quayle was never right about anything, except as a description of his boneheaded right-wing politics.
16:36 April 9, 2010 by SeekTruth
This is a tragedy. Do the math and Germans are on their way to becoming extinct just like the Italians and many other European cultures. At the very least, there will be tiny American Indian style enclaves or reservations for them while the fast-breeding refugees lord over them. Un-freaking believable. But maybe I'm the one that doesn't get it. Maybe Germans and most other Europeans are pathetic, self-immolating people who secretly despise themselves ... who are self-centered and too afraid to commit to any real responsiblity other than spending their lives in cafes and discoteques. I suppose people who don't see the big picture aren't worth spit.
17:59 April 9, 2010 by mdspatsy
This is not a surprising news to many unmarried persons.

Even, these trends are prevailing in Asian and many European countries.

The main reasons are as follows:- 1.Good jobs with good perks.2.No risk on future happenings,3.More reasoning towards independent thoughts.4.Easy adoptions in later dates.
20:11 April 9, 2010 by fair1day
Married people live longer. Period. The numbers don't lie, but I would guess that a bunch of these people do.

Europe is on the way to becoming extinct. So much for "free thinking". NOT!

Maybe their logic is flawed?

Guess it isn't logic at all.
16:38 April 10, 2010 by wenddiver
Marriage-You'll know when you meet that special some one you want to devote the rest of your life to making theirs a perfect hell.
08:34 April 12, 2010 by SilberFuchs
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
08:12 April 13, 2010 by dlplife
A Future Epidemic of Aloneness

This is a remarkable development and not for the good of individuals. In the 1950's in America only around 10% of the population lived alone, and that was due mostly to the death of their spouse. In the 1990's this had climbed to 25% and it continues to climb. Across Europe, the rate is climbing even faster.

The low marriage rate today means that an epidemic of aloneness and loneliness in people's latter years is in the future in Germany.
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