National Aspects of Marriage Registration

One of our previous articles discussed the share of the unmarried in different age groups. And while on this subject, we further considered the correlation between marital status, age range, and place of residence trying to understand the causes of the observed results.

61+ | The survey revealed that in the 61+ age group civil registration marriages prevail (61.1%), and marriages in church comprise solely 0.2 %. Apparently, the main reason for this was the diminishing role of the church and the importance of marriage certificate (related to incentive plans, programs for getting an apartment, etc.) in the Soviet era.

18-30 | As already discussed in one of our previous articles, among 18 to 30 years old more than half (55,2%) of the respondents are unmarried. In this age group, both civil marriages and marriages in church make up 16 %. Remarkably, the number of people, who registered their marriages in registry offices, twice exceeds the number of those married in a religious ceremony, despite the fact that most people in this group were born in the post-Soviet period.

31-45, 46-60 | Among the people aged 31 to 45 civil marriages (36,3%) and common-law marriages (34.3%) are predominant. The same picture is observed among 46 to 60 year-olds, with more than half (55.8%) having their marriages registered in registry offices only.
While analysing the whole picture an interesting pattern is noticed: as the age group grows the proportion of civil marriages increases, and the proportion of marriages in church decreases.

Within the scope of the same survey, we have attempted to analyze the data according to the place of residence. It’s worth to note that in spite of the perception that in rural areas, where people are more conservative, the number of marriages in church is supposed to be higher than the average national, urban and capital figures, the situation is just the reverse: in rural areas the share of those married only in a religious ceremony (2.4%) is lower than the national average being 3%, and is at the same time less than urban (3.5%) and capital (3.2%) figures.

The above stated is also supplemented by the fact that in rural areas the share of civil marriages (51.4%) is higher than that of urban (40.5%) and capital (38.6%).

A more in-depth analysis shows that these indicators have a clear cause-and-effect relationship with the average household income of the respondents. Thus, those with higher income prefer to marry in a religious ceremony, while those with lower income prefer to register their marriage only in the registry offices. This phenomenon can be related to the fact that in our reality marriage in church implies costlier activities as compared to the civil ceremony.

The low divorce rate in rural communities could be explained by the residents' equivocal perception of this phenomenon: in small communities, only 1% are divorced. In the capital, for example, the divorced make up 4.6% of the population.

The same ambiguous position is present for common-law marriages, however, it does not prevent a higher number of common-law marriages in rural and regional areas (6.2% and 7.2% respectively) than in Yerevan (4.5%). In the rest of the groups, there are no significant differences or variations.

Thus, the analysis of the data creates a picture completely different from stereotypical perceptions.

The survey was conducted in June 2019 among 1602 people throughout Armenia. Reliability level is 95%, boundary error is Δ = ± 2.45% and sincerity is 85.6%.
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