Marriages & divorces are changing the face of Europe

Maciamo

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Fewer people are getting married, more are cohabitating, more people end up separated or divorced, more single parents... European society is changing fast. Here is a brief video from Euronews on the topic.

Here are some hard facts :

Marriage rate in 2004 (per 1000 inhabitants)

Cyprus : 7.2
Denmark : 7.0
UK : 5.1
Spain : 5.0
Germany : 4.8
Portugal : 4.7
France : 4.3
Italy : 4.3
Belgium : 4.1
Slovenia : 3.3

EU average : 4.8
USA : 7.4
Japan : 5.7


Divorce rate in 2004 (per 1000 inhabitants)

Czech Republic : 3.2
Lithuania : 3.2
UK : 2.8
Germany : 2.6
Portugal : 2.2
Spain : 2.1
France : 2.1
Italy : 0.8
Ireland : 0.7
Malta : 0 (illegal)

EU average : 2.1
USA : 3.7
Japan : 2.15


Birth rate in 2004 (per 1000 inhabitants)

Ireland : 15.2
France : 12.7
UK : 12
Spain : 10.6
Portugal : 10.4
Italy : 9.7
Austria : 8.8
Germany : 8.6

EU average : 10.5
USA : 15.5
Japan : 8.8
 
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It may have to do with the fact that the institution of marriage has become a corrupt politician's tool for new policies. I know some un-married couples in America that have been with each other as long as most married couples. A union between a man and a woman or whatever is something private. Marriage has no place in government and the government should get out of the business of marriage. Then when marriage becomes more private again people will embrace it without fear of whatever.

Speaking of Europe and government business, how has Europe been regarding capitalism? Seems like Northwestern Europe has pretty good free trade laws but I hear the EU is becoming more socialist. If so then it is no surprise why people are avoiding marriage. I bet government has a lot more power over marriage in Europe than in America if it really is more socialist.
 
Silverbackman said:
It may have to do with the fact that the institution of marriage has become a corrupt politician's tool for new policies. I know some un-married couples in America that have been with each other as long as most married couples.
That seems pretty obvious to me, as a Belgian. I know so many unmarried couples who have been living together as long or longer than married couples. Many also have children together. In Sweden 80% of children's parents are not married (and 50% in the UK).
Speaking of Europe and government business, how has Europe been regarding capitalism? Seems like Northwestern Europe has pretty good free trade laws but I hear the EU is becoming more socialist.
I think that the EU is actually making Europe more economically liberal (or less "socialist" if you want) than it was. After all the common market is all about free trade and facilitating business, movement of capitals, workers, etc. If you know but the fundamentals about the EU, I really don't see how you would imagine that the EU is making Europe more "less capitalist". Or maybe you equate consumer protection with "socialism" ? These are two very different things (fortunately !).
If so then it is no surprise why people are avoiding marriage. I bet government has a lot more power over marriage in Europe than in America if it really is more socialist.
Actually no. Europe is much more liberal (as opposed to people-controlling socialist) than the US regarding marriage. That's why in many countries even gay marriage is allowed, while this kind of freedom isn't allowed in the US (therefore Europe is more liberal).

If you really want to compare the US and Europe in a nutshell, the US is socially conservative and economically liberal (=capitalist), while Europe is more socially liberal and a bit less though increasingly liberal in economic matters (thanks to the EU). Ireland and Poland are two exceptions in Europe that are much more similar to the US than the rest of Europe.
 
Marriage is going to signify different things to different people - that much is axiomatic. What's prodigious is that it signifies kindred things for you and your other half. For me, it's a presentation of dedication to the amour of my biography before my friends and my family, and a solemnization of the same where everybody we give tutelage about is garnered to partake with us. I trust the fact that I encountered somebody I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with is deserving of festivity.:love: :flower: :confetti:

In Europe there are a lot of people who don't get married but just live together in a relationship and have children or have no children. A lot of people in Europe don't make such a big fuss about weddings.

In comparison to people in Asia who view marriage as one of the biggest and one of the most eminent events in life and do spend money on it, this is quite different. That?fs why there are lots of wedding photo galleries in Asia, much more than in Western countries.:blush:
 
Maciamo said:
That seems pretty obvious to me, as a Belgian. I know so many unmarried couples who have been living together as long or longer than married couples. Many also have children together. In Sweden 80% of children's parents are not married (and 50% in the UK).
I think that the EU is actually making Europe more economically liberal (or less "socialist" if you want) than it was. After all the common market is all about free trade and facilitating business, movement of capitals, workers, etc. If you know but the fundamentals about the EU, I really don't see how you would imagine that the EU is making Europe more "less capitalist". Or maybe you equate consumer protection with "socialism" ? These are two very different things (fortunately !).
Actually no. Europe is much more liberal (as opposed to people-controlling socialist) than the US regarding marriage. That's why in many countries even gay marriage is allowed, while this kind of freedom isn't allowed in the US (therefore Europe is more liberal).
If you really want to compare the US and Europe in a nutshell, the US is socially conservative and economically liberal (=capitalist), while Europe is more socially liberal and a bit less though increasingly liberal in economic matters (thanks to the EU). Ireland and Poland are two exceptions in Europe that are much more similar to the US than the rest of Europe.

Maybe, but I have always heard and read that Europe is more socialist. I also read that Europe does have Universal Health Care and in some cases Government funded education until graduate school! That is definitely closer to socialism there. I have also read that Sweden (who is a member of the EU I think) is a pretty socialist country, taking more than 75% income tax and what not.

When I say capitalism I don't mean social conservative, just free market and free business (in Europe I guess economically liberal means free market, correct?). With that is the EU really making things more capitalistic in Europe? I'm sure the union has lowered tariffs quite a bit but has it limited the government's control over the means of production?

When you say consumer protection, do you mean protection from fraud? Yes, that really isn't socialist. But anti-discriminatory laws are. For example in the US we have laws against not hiring someone based on religion, ect. However if someone wants to start a business with his own religious beliefs he should. For example if an atheist wants atheist employees, he should have that right. If a hindu wants hindu employees, he should be able to. Or in the case of gender and race, if a Mexican woman wants only Mexican women in her business she should have that right. Are there any laws regarding choosing your employees, customers, ect. in the EU?

80% in Sweden and 50% in the UK, eh? That is higher than I thought! How do you think the number will be effected if the government got out of the business of marriage?

Technically, marriage is between two adults that love each other. If that is the case then those 80% in Sweden and 50% in the UK are married. They just haven't had a ceremony. I wonder whether the ceremonial marriage will disappear in the future and couples who are together will be considered "married" (but not under any laws, just personally considered).
 
Silverbackman said:
Maybe, but I have always heard and read that Europe is more socialist. I also read that Europe does have Universal Health Care and in some cases Government funded education until graduate school! That is definitely closer to socialism there. I have also read that Sweden (who is a member of the EU I think) is a pretty socialist country, taking more than 75% income tax and what not.

First of all, you shouldn't trust everything you read, especially in the US about the rest of the world (e.g. tax levels in Sweden are more like 50%, not 75% !). Secondly, yes, Europe has good health care and tax-funded education till university, and overall higher tax levels, and in this regard it is more socialist. But this thread is about marriage, and in this regard Europe is much more liberal than the USA.

When I say capitalism I don't mean social conservative, just free market and free business (in Europe I guess economically liberal means free market, correct?). With that is the EU really making things more capitalistic in Europe? I'm sure the union has lowered tariffs quite a bit but has it limited the government's control over the means of production?

Europe is economically liberal and capitalist, and increasingly so with the EU. In fact, Europe has had much more mergers between big companies in recent years than the US. This is a typically capitalist behaviour: free flow of money, internationalisation, forces of the maket acting rather than governments. The US is actually quite protective (like Japan) of its industries, which is why Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol about reducing CO2 emissions, and why the government gives tax cuts to its big companies but not to its people.

Europe is protective of imports when it comes to agriculture, but the US is protective when it comes to applying safety laws (e.g. lack of checks about BSE on cattle for fear of damaging that industry). So you could say that both the US and Europe are very capitalistic, but in different ways. European laws tend to protect consumers first, while American laws protect the industry first. But there are obviously consumer protection laws in the US too, as there are measures to help the industry in Europe.


When you say consumer protection, do you mean protection from fraud? Yes, that really isn't socialist. But anti-discriminatory laws are. For example in the US we have laws against not hiring someone based on religion, ect. However if someone wants to start a business with his own religious beliefs he should. For example if an atheist wants atheist employees, he should have that right. If a hindu wants hindu employees, he should be able to. Or in the case of gender and race, if a Mexican woman wants only Mexican women in her business she should have that right. Are there any laws regarding choosing your employees, customers, ect. in the EU?

Anti-discriminatory laws have nothing to do with socialism or liberalism. They exist in all developed societies, and even in less developed ones - in more "socialist" ones like India, or in more "capitalist" ones like China.

80% in Sweden and 50% in the UK, eh? That is higher than I thought! How do you think the number will be effected if the government got out of the business of marriage?

What do you mean by "the government got out of the business of marriage" ? Do you mean if marriage are not recognised legally, but only by religious institutions ? If that happens, I suppose that almost nobody in Europe (except in religious countries like Ireland and Poland) would get married anymore. Nowadays the main reason couples still get married is that they can get tax cuts or social benefits from the government. If you just want a party, you can do it without being married (many couples do around here).

Technically, marriage is between two adults that love each other. If that is the case then those 80% in Sweden and 50% in the UK are married. They just haven't had a ceremony.

No, that's the opposite. Some people have the party/ceremony (not in church) with their family and friends to celebrate their union, but never actually get married on paper or in church, because they think it's not necessary. That's why I say that such mentality is more liberal, as the government has no business at all in people's love life.
 
Maciamo said:
Nowadays the main reason couples still get married is that they can get tax cuts or social benefits from the government. If you just want a party, you can do it without being married (many couples do around here).
Some people have the party/ceremony (not in church) with their family and friends to celebrate their union, but never actually get married on paper or in church, because they think it's not necessary. That's why I say that such mentality is more liberal, as the government has no business at all in people's love life.

There are people who feel that marriage has lost its meaning, this seems to be more evident in the Western world than in Asia. There seems to be that a lot of Western people think marriage is just about fiscal stableness, spiritual piousness, and societal position. They feel if they want to be with somebody for the rest of their lives, they can do it without having to testify it in a legal binding document. To them if you remove the money, the devoutness, and the consequence that "this is my wife/husband" has on a crew, there is naught there but a legitimate deed.

But for others taking an official measure that de jure and culturally binds you and your love is an indicant to your new partner that you take that relationship exceedingly earnestly. People search for constancy, and a relationship without an aftermath-free back door is pretty steady.
 

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