Tu B’Av 2020: How many are married and where are the most single?

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A decrease in the volume of marriages and an increase in the rate of single men and women in Israel, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics published today (Monday) on the occasion of Tu B’Av, which will take place on Wednesday. Couples, 13,138 Muslims, 985 Druze and 785 Christians.

The marriage rate has been declining over the years. While in 1985 the rate was 6.9 per thousand (6.7 among Jews) – last year the rate was 5.6 per thousand in the general population (5.2 among Jews). The CBS noted that as a result of the decline in the number of marriages in the Jewish population, the rate of single men among Jewish men aged 49-45 rose from 3% at the end of 1970 to 12% at the end of 2018. The rate of single women among Jewish women aged 49-45 rose in the same period. -2% to 10% respectively.

The data also show that the average among all grooms who married for the first time was 27.3 years (27.5 among Jews). In contrast, in 1970 the average among grooms was significantly lower – 25 years, both among Jews and among the general population. The average age of marriage among first-time brides was 24.9 years (25.7 among Jewish women), while in 1970 the average age was significantly lower at 21.7 years (21.8 among Jewish brides).

The data also show that in parallel with the decrease in the rate of marriage among Jews in Israel, there was an increase in the rate of couples living together (cohabitation of unmarried spouses). The proportion of young Jews aged 18-34 who lived together lived rose from 2% in 2000 to 6% in 2018.

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In 2018, for 68% of Jewish couples who married, the groom was older than the bride, while among Muslims the rate was significantly higher – 87%. In 15% of Jewish couples and 6% of Muslim couples the bride was older than the groom and in 17% of Jewish couples and 7% of Muslim couples there was no age gap.

The segmentation of the data also shows that among 77% of Jewish couples who married for the first time, the age gap was up to three years, compared with 45% among Muslim couples. Among Muslim couples, it is more common for the groom to be significantly older than the bride, with 55% of married couples being four years older than the bride, compared to 22% of Jewish couples.

The segmentation by cities shows that Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givatayim are characterized by a high rate of single men and women among 49-45-year-olds, relative to the entire Jewish population. In contrast, ultra-Orthodox localities, such as Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit and Elad, are characterized by a very low rate of singles in this age group. The proportion of bachelors aged 49-45 in Ramat Gan was 22.2% at the end of 2018 and the proportion of single women – 21.1%. In Givatayim, the rate of single men at those ages was 21.4% and the rate of single women was 22.6%. In Tel Aviv, the rate of single men at those ages was 30.6% and the rate of single women – 26.9%. In Modi’in Illit the proportion of single men aged 49-45 was 0.1% and the single woman – 0.3%, in Beit Illit the proportion of single men in those ages was 1.2% and the single woman – 0.3% and in Elad, the proportion of single men was 1.7% and single women 0.3%.

Among ages 29-25, the undisputed “bachelor capital” was Tel Aviv, with a rate of 85.3%, while in Modi’in Illit the rate of singles at those ages was only 7.2%.

The CBS further noted that as a result of the increase in the marital age of the Jewish population, the proportion of single men among Jewish men aged 29-25 increased from 28% at the end of 1970 to 62% at the end of 2018. The proportion of single women among Jewish women aged 29-25 increased in the same period. 13%, to 47%, respectively. In 2018, 9,021 marriages were reported to the Population Registry that were conducted abroad and in which at least one of the spouses was registered in the Population Registry.

The CBS social survey shows that married people are happy with their lives at higher rates than those who are not married. Among those aged 20-44, 46% of those married answered that they are very happy with their lives, compared with 37% of those who are not married. 39% of married people are very satisfied compared to 22% of those who are not married, and among those aged 65 and over – 33% of married people are very satisfied with their lives, compared to 23% of those who are not married.

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