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Where Europeans Are Most Likely to Be Single vs. Married

The contrast between France and Germany, for example, is striking.
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Latvians are most likely to live in single parent households, the Maltese and Irish are less likely to get divorced and Germans like getting married a whole lot more than the French do. These are some of the demographic details that can be gleaned from the European Union’s most recent data on its citizens’ relationships and residence. Updated earlier this year, they’ve been represented in a series of intricately detailed maps and charts created by Eurostat. While some of the trends the data reveal are predictable—for example that Catholic Southern Europe has higher proportions of married couple households—other micro trends are intriguing.

Take a look at the above map, for example, which shows the percentage of families that have a married couple at their core. At 71.2 percent of families across the E.U. total, this group still overwhelmingly predominates, but there are nonetheless striking differences in their distribution across the map. Southern Europe is keener on marriage than the north, with particular strongholds for marriage in Greece, Southern Italy, and Northern Portugal. In only five regions did less than 50 percent of families have married couples as their nucleus. Three of these are in Europe politically but not geographically—the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Guyane—while the remaining two were both in Britain: Glasgow and Inner London East. Overall, families not centered on married couples were far more prevalent in big cities, with the notable exception of Ireland.