By Liam Carter
In almost a decade, the rate of babies born outside marriage has more than doubled in Cyprus, figures released by the European statistical service showed.
According to Eurostat, in 2016 the number of babies born outside of wedlock jumped to 19.1 per cent, a 2.5 per cent rise over the previous year.
It is a far cry from the 8.7 per cent rate in 2007, which at the time was one of the lowest across the EU, as 80 per cent of live births in Greece, Croatia, and Cyprus were registered within marriage.
Despite the rise, Cyprus is still well below the EU average of 43 per cent in 2016.
“This figure is over 15 percentage points above the value in 2000. From 2000 the share steadily increased by around 1 percentage point each year, signalling changing patterns of family formation, with births occurring in non-marital relationships, cohabiting couples and to lone parents,” Eurostat said.
The study also reported that in 2016, eight EU member states registered more live births outside wedlock than within, with France in the top spot by 60 per cent followed by Bulgaria and Slovenia, 59 per cent, Estonia, 56 per cent, Sweden, 55 per cent, Denmark, 54 per cent, Portugal, 53 per cent, and the Netherlands, 50 per cent.