Couple married in a wedding

Marriages and divorces decreased in 2020 due to the pandemic

There are more marriages in the southeast of Turkey, and more divorces in the west. 19,000 foreign women married Turks in 2020.

The number of marriages and divorces in Turkey decreased in 2020 compared to the previous year due to the coronavirus pandemic, as confirmed by the latest data published yesterday by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

According to the official statistical report, the number of people who married in Turkey in 2019 was 542,314, compared to 487,270 who did so in 2020, which represents a decrease of 10.1%; likewise, while 156,587 couples divorced in 2019, only 135,022 did so last year, in this case a fall of 13.8%.

One of the main causes that explains this decrease in marriages and divorces seems to be the pandemic; in fact, although the quarantine due to the coronavirus multiplied by 4 demand for divorces in cities like Istanbul, the main problem is that due to the restrictions it is very difficult to process and carry out all the requests that reach the courts and civil registry offices.

Furthermore, quarantines and curfews have limited the number of social interactions and relationships; according to statistical data, between April and May 2020 there was a notable drop in the number of marriages in Turkey, which fell by no less than 68.7% compared to the same period in 2019. In contrast, marriages increased by 8.2% in July and 15.1% in August, coinciding with the de-escalation months and lower incidence of the virus.

More marriages in southeast Turkey, more divorces in the west

By provinces, the province that registered the highest marriage rate in 2020 was Adıyaman, in southeastern Turkey, where it stood at 7.14 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants; it was followed by the neighbouring provinces of Şanlıurfa (7.13) and Kilis (7). The provinces with the fewest marriages were Gümüşhane (4.14 per 1,000 inhabitants) followed by Tunceli (4.18) and Artvin (4.58).

Regarding divorces, the province with the highest divorce rate in Turkey during 2020 was Antalya, with 2.47 per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by İzmir (2.45) and Muğla (2.4). In contrast, the lowest divorce rates were found in the provinces of Hakkari (0.24), Muş (0.25) and Şırnak (0.29).

Almost 19,000 foreign women married Turks in 2020

Likewise, during 2020 the number of foreign women who married Turkish citizens reached 18,909, while there were 3,828 foreign men who married Turkish women.

By nationality, Syrian women (14.8% of the total) stand out among foreign women, followed by Azerbaijanis (10.5%) and Germans (9.4%); with regard to foreign men who married Turkish citizens, Germans rank first (27.6%) followed by Syrians (19.2%) and Austrians (5.6%).