Hungarian way of divorce: many couples break up after decades
According to hvg.hu, since the end of communism in Hungary, the number of those divorcing in their 50s, 60s has increased significantly. At the same time, fewer couples with small children break up now.
Almost half of the marriages end in divorce in Hungary nowadays, reports Demographical Yearbook published by the Central Statistics Office. Around the time of the end of the communism (“regime change” or “system change”, 1989), only 31% of marriages, 50 years ago just 25% of marriages ended in divorce. Last year the rate was 42%, but a few years ago (between 2007 and 2011) the index was 45-46%, too.
In spite of the growing tendency of divorces, the average time span of marriages increases continuously. At the time of the regime change, parties ended their relationships after 11 years; nowadays they break up after 14 years on average. This tendency can be explained partly by the more extended average lifetime, that is an extra 7 years in case of men, plus 6 years in case of women, compared to 1990. On the contrary, the weddings are now usually held a few years later (8, and 6 years), which compensates the former numbers. Average age at the time of the divorce has also changed:
in 1990, it was 37 years for men and 34 for women. Nowadays the average age of marriage is almost the same as the age of divorce in 1990: at the time of the first marriage, men are usually 33, their wives 30 years old.
The freshly divorced husbands last year were on average 44.5 year-olds, their ex-wives were, on average, 41.5 year-olds.
Examining it more closely shows that in 2016, out of Hungarian men in their fifties, 3.5 thousand ended their relationships, which is a thousand more than those in 1990. In the age group of 60 and older, the number has jumped from 600 to 1300. The proportion of women who decided to make a big change in their private life in a mature age has increased, too.
Last year 6.3% of women divorcing were in their 60s.
In 1990, only 2.5% of women over 60 would turn their lives upside down. As a consequence, today not just the 4th and 7-9th years of the marriage count as critical periods. A more dangerous period in the 20th year and the time following that, since the new trend is that more than 30% of marriages end in this period.
A link between married parties that seems to be stronger and stronger is the children they raise together. During the system change,
70% of couples would break up nevertheless they had minor children. In the last few years this circumstance has seemed to stabilise the relationships.
In parallel to this, the number of couples divorcing who do not have children at all increases, 45% of divorced husband and wives come from this group.
Based on the frequency of divorces, Hungary is in the European midfield. 2 separations fell on a thousand people last year, which is the same as in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany. In Europe, the profoundly Catholic Irish and Muslim Bosnian marriages are the most stable, while Russian and Belarus marriages are often just temporary.