Big rise in the number of singles

According to figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the number of single people in Belgium is continuing to rise. The research is based on a questionnaire from 2001 and figures taken from the National Population Register between 2001 and 2006.
The sharpest rise in the number of single people was in the 25 to 29 age category.

21.5% of men in this age group don’t have a partner.

This is well up on the figures from the early 1980’s when just 8.2% of men between 25 and 29 were not in a relationship.

The figures for of the same age are much lower.

14.9% of women aged between 25 and 29 didn’t have a partner in 2006, compared to 5.8% in 1981.

More unmarried couples with children

There has also been a big rise in the number of unmarried couples with children.

In the age category 30 to 34, 11.9% of men and 12.8% of women with children live with a partner that they are not married to.
The study concludes that living together is no longer seen as a prelude to getting married.

Living together has long been acceptable in Francophone Belgium.

However, in Flanders it has only started to gain in popularity in more recent years.

The study also reveals an increase in the number of single parents.

The percentage of single mothers aged between 40 and 44 rose from 6.4% in 1981 to 15.2% in 2006.

The percentage of single fathers of the same age is much lower at 2.6%