LISBON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The number of marriages rose in Portugal in 2018, while divorces have declined, according to figures released on Friday by the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics (INE).
In 2018, there were 34,637 marriages, up 3 percent year on year from the previous year, leading to an increase in the gross marriage rate from 3.3 to 3.4 marriages per thousand inhabitants.
The data confirmed a trend over the past decade in both men and women to postpone their first marriage, with the average age rising from 33.2 to 33.6 years in men and 31.6 to 32.1 years in women compared to 2017.
According to INE, there has been an increase in average age at first marriage of 1.9 years in both sexes over the last six years and an increase in average marriage age of 2.8 years in men and 2.7 years in women.
More than half of marriages (68 percent) were first marriages (between singles), but the proportion dropped slightly compared to 2017 (68.5 percent).
According to INE data, the number of same-sex marriages in Portugal has increased again (from 523 in 2017 to 607 in 2018).
Between 2013 and 2018, there were 2,515 same-sex marriages, with a higher predominance among men (1,484).
Statistics showed that divorces decreased in line with what has been happening since 2016, with the gross divorce rate at two divorces per thousand inhabitants.
In 2018, 20,345 divorces were decreed in Portugal, 1,232 less than in 2017, and the majority (69.9 percent) occurred by mutual consent. In same-sex marriages there was a growth, from 59 to 75.
According to INE, the average length of marriage at the time of divorce in 2018 was 17.3 years, slightly lower than the previous year (17.4), and about 39 percent of men and women who divorced were between 40 and 49 years old, although the average age is higher in men (47.1) than in women (44.6). Enditem