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Joined in Marriage

Our eldest daughter got married last weekend, here in Mallorca. I do not want to bore you with the intricacies of a private and family affair but, let’s look at some figures referring to marriages in Spain.

According to the INE Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Institute of Statistics), there were 2,202 weddings contracted in the Islas Baleares in 1910, and they were all celebrated in church. By 1920, the number of married couples had increased to 2,628, again, all being solemn church affairs. By 1959, the number of nuptials had increased to 3,522. It is not known how many of those weddings were held in churches but, it can safely be assumed that it was the vast majority. By 1998, only about seven out of every ten marriages in the Baleares were still committed at the altar. Little more than a decade later, in 2009, 4,349 marriage contracts were subscribed but, now only three out of ten wedding bonds were formalized by the Catholic rite. Hmm. Yes, there may be one or the other wedding celebrated according to the Jewish, the Buddhist or the Lutheran faith not showing up in the statistics. And I know of a number of Islamic matrimonial bonds but, in general, these festivities tend to be celebrated in the immigrants’ homeland such as Morocco.

The bottom line shows an increase of wedding ceremonies, presumably due mainly to the vast increase in population, and quite significantly demonstrates a weakening influence of the erstwhile domineering authority of the Catholic church.

Interestingly enough, the statistics also show the highest percentage of divorces in all of Spain, here in the Baleares.

The INE website is quite an interesting source of snippets in case you are interested in matters such as demography and population, i. e. the Consumer Price Index, Industrial Prices Index, Gross National Product, hotel occupancy, Spain’s foreign population numbers, agricultural or industrial output and so forth. Check it out.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 30th, 2010. The time was 17:08:15.

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November 2010


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