- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Cohabitation continues to rise in Belgium
This year there are more people living together than are officially married. The first half of this year showed 32,510 Belgians register with the municipality as living together legally, while only 24,372 registered as married. It is the first time in Belgium that more people choose cohabitation over marriage. To find a clarification for this social shift, sociologist Vicky Lyssens-Danneboom was commissioned by the University of Antwerp (UA) to interview a random selection of cohabiting couples. "A minority of cohabitants is opposed to marriage, while the majority in fact has no fundamental objections to it based on principle," she says. "It's more a matter of procrastination and budget." Lyssens-Danneboom points out that in the past couples were married straight out of the home, and the parents footed the bill. Nowadays, however, many couples already have a house and children, but no time or money left over to organise a big party.