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‘Mixed Marriages’ Now Account For 27 Per Cent of Unions in France

More than a quarter of marriages in 2015 were between French nationals and a foreign partner, the latest figures from France’s national statistics agency show.

Nearly four in ten of so-called mixed marriages, unions between a French citizen and a foreign national, that took place in France in 2015 involved a North African spouse according to National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) figures.

Fourteen per cent of the 236,300 marriages which took place in France in 2015 were mixed, a proportion which rises to 27 per cent after adding unions celebrated abroad which were then transcribed to the French civil registry.

Noting longer term trends in France, the national statistics office stated that while the number of weddings has almost continuously declined since the 1970s, mixed marriages have been on the rise since the 1950s.

Of the 33,800 mixed marriages celebrated in France in 2015, 37 per cent were to Maghreb citizens hailing from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Unions to nationals of sub-Saharan African countries make up a further 14 per cent of the total.

“The distribution of mixed marriages celebrated in France by nationality of the foreign spouse has changed considerably since the 1970s,” noted INSEE alongside the data.

Observing marriage trends in France over recent decades, the statistics bureau pointed out that while unions between French nationals and Italians or Spaniards accounted for 31 per cent of mixed marriages in 1977, this had dipped to just 4 per cent by 2015.

In 2015, around 20 per cent of mixed marriages in France involved a citizen of another European country, and 16 per cent united a French national with a spouse with citizenship of a country that’s not in Asia, Europe, or Africa.

Another trend INSEE notes is that by 2015, 49 per cent of mixed marriages united a foreign woman and a French man, compared with 38 per cent between 1950 and 1980.

“This development is explained by the fact that more and more women are migrating alone, to study or to work. In 2015, they accounted for 50 per cent of foreigners residing in France” said Jean-Luc Richard, sociology and demography lecturer at the University of Rennes.

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