Portuguese altars mighty lonely these days!.jpg

Portuguese altars mighty lonely these days!

THE NUMBER of marriages in Portugal is at its lowest since 1940, according to the National Statistics Institute.

Falling for the seventh consecutive year, there were 48,667 weddings registered in 2005. In 1940 – a year of isolation, uncertainty and financial hardship owing to the war in Europe – there were 46,618 weddings. The year following the Carnation Revolution, in 1974, saw the fashion for getting hitched reach its peak in Portugal, with 103,125 saying “I do”. Overall, there has been a 39 per cent reduction in marriages between 1900 and 2005.

Lisbon sociologist and author of Marriage in Portugal, Amália Torres, blamed an ageing population, a phenomenon seen all over Europe. However, social scientist, Pedro Moura, commented: “People don’t believe in marriage anymore like they used to. They are far more individualistic these days and don’t like making compromises.”

Other factors linked to the downward trend include the tendency to cohabit, the cost of weddings (20,000 euros per wedding on average) and the uncertainty caused by the current economic recession.