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In the aftermath of World War Two, the marriage rate in the United States was the highest
it had ever been and it has never come close since.
So today, which countries have the highest marriage rates?
Well, marriage rate is generally calculated by the number of marriages per 1,000 people per year.
For instance in the United States, there were nearly 7 marriages for every 1000 residents in 2014.
This is somewhat high for developed nations.
By comparison, the average EU marriage rate is roughly four per 1000.
One country where marriage is quite common is Kyrgyzstan with 10 in every 1000 Kyrgyz tying the knot every year.
Kyrgyzstan’s population is roughly 75 percent Muslim,
and its conservative values extend to relationships and marriage.
Many Kyrgyz believe marriage is a necessary foundation for child-rearing,
and a majority of children are born within wedlock.
Unmarried pregnant women are known to face harsh stigma,
and as a result, many get married before or shortly after giving birth.
Kyrgyzstan's high marriage rate is also a product of something called “bride kidnapping”.
The practice takes different forms, but typically, a young man gathers a group of friends,
and together they drive around looking for a woman he wants to marry.
They then kidnap this unsuspecting woman and bring her back to a wedding ceremony
that has already been arranged.
This unusual tradition accounts for as many as half of all marriages in some parts of the country,
and although it has been illegal since 1994, law enforcement generally looks the other way.
Marriage is also exceptionally common in Egypt, which has an annual marriage rate of roughly 11 for every 1000 people.
Women in Egypt, as in many Arab countries, are largely defined by their roles as wives and mothers,
and as a result, there is no widely accepted social niche for single Egyptian women.
The weight placed on virginity and family honor also drives people to marry younger,
or sooner in their relationships.
And although Egypt is fairly modernized, arranged marriages are still extremely common.
But UN statistics suggest that the highest marriage rate exists in Tajikistan,
with more than 13 out every 1000 people marrying each year.
Tajikistan is an extremely patriarchal society, with harsh stigma around unmarried women.
As a result, parents are known to pressure their teenage or young-adult children into marriage.
In fact, most marry before age 30, and according to UNICEF, 12 percent of Tajik girls are married before age 18.
The government has tried to discourage this practice by cracking down on illegitimate
unions and raising the legal age of marriage from 17 to 18.
However it persists, with ceremonies being held in secret or public officials bribed into giving unlawful marriage licenses.
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Egypt each have cultures which stress family values, especially
especially marriage and child-rearing.
Many other countries share similar values, and accordingly see high marriage rates.
Whether it be due to culture, or religion,
it’s likely that marriage will continue to be an important institution around the world.
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In some cultures, marriage is more than just an arrangement between two people,
it’s a union of two families.
As a result, many more traditional households opt for arranged marriages.
So where does this practice still exist?
Find out in this video.
Arranged marriages are when a third party, usually a relative or a matchmaker selects
your spouse, but with your permission.
This is distinct from forced marriages where there is no consent as is the case with child brides.
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Which Countries Have The Highest Marriage Rates?

35286 Folder Collection
BH published on January 23, 2017    Matilde Wu translated    Mandy Lin reviewed
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