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Changes in marital status

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Population
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Yes
European Statistical System (ESS): Yes


The statistics on changes in marital status describe changes in the marital status of men and women permanently resident in Finland. The categories of marital status are unmarried, married, divorced, widowed, partner in a registered same-sex partnership, divorced from a registered same-sex partnership and widowed from a registered same-sex partnership.

Data content

Data describing the same variables, such as age, marital status and former marital status, native language, municipality of residence, municipality of birth, country of birth, country of residence, nationality, number of children, successive number of marriage or registered partnership, are often available for persons having married, divorced, entered into a registered partnership, divorced from a registered partnership or become widowed. Data are also available on dates relating to each change of marital status, such as date of marriage, date of registration of a registered partnership, date of divorce from marriage or registered partnership and date of becoming widowed. In addition, data relating to a certain change only, such as mode of entering marriage, date of dissolution of previous marriage, and divorce after six months’ reconsideration period of the petitioner for divorce and section of law on which divorce is based are also available.

The statistics describe marrying and divorcing with diverse parameter figures. Registered partnerships have thus far not been described with such parameters due to their paucity. Marrying is described with a general and remarriage rate, an age-specific marriage and remarriage rate and with a total marriage rate. Divorcing is described with a general divorce rate, age-specific divorce rate and total divorce rate.

Classifications used

The data are available by a variety regional divisions based on municipalities. Since 1999, nationality, country of birth and language have been classified according to ISO standards. Statistics Finland’s own respective classifications were used prior to this. Age is classified according to 1 or 5-year cohorts.

The classification into regions and the statistical classification into municipalities have been used since 1997. The respective categories used prior to this were province and type of municipality. Since 1999, the regional classification entering into force at the beginning of the year following the statistical reference year has been applied in the statistics on births. Since 2003, it has been possible to produce to special order data on the municipalities that have merged at the turn of the year according to the regional division valid on the last day of the previous year before the merger.

Data collection methods and data sources

Finnish population statistics are based on data derived from The Digital and Population data services Agency’s Population Information System. Legislation allowing the registration of same-sex partnerships of women and men entered into force on 1 March 2002, and statistics have been compiled on them since that date. The statistics on contracted marriages are based on the notifications submitted to the Population Information System by church or civil authorities with the right to officiate at weddings. The statistics on registered partnerships are based on the notifications submitted to the Population Information System by the authority having officiated the civil marriage ceremony. The marriage or registered partnership of a person permanently resident in Finland contracted abroad will not be included in the statistics until it has been registered in Finland and the information has been entered into the Population Information System. The registration is effected by the person concerned submitting a legalized certificate of the marriage or registration of partnership to the Digital and Population data services Agency.

Updating frequency

The statistics are published once a year.

Time of completion or release

Time series

Vital statistics on numbers of contracted marriages are available starting from 1749. Collection of annual data on divorces was started in connection with the statistical revision of 1877. Data on registered partnerships are available starting from 2002.


becoming widowed, couple relationship, divorce, divorce from a registered partnership, divorce rate, divorce rate of registered partnerships, marital status, marriage, marriage rate, population changes, registered partnership, widowed, vital statistics

Contact information

Last updated 29.04.2020