Europe: Divorce crisis for Euro couples

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Almost one in three marriages in the European Union will end in divorce if trends continue - a record high. Europeans are also marrying less, the Eurostat EU statistics agency said.

Divorce has risen from 11 per cent of marriages in 1970 to 30 per cent in 1995; marriages have fallen from eight per 1,000 inhabitants in the 1970s to 5.1 per 1,000 in 1995. Belgium and Sweden are the most divorce- prone countries, with more than half of marriages likely to end. Finland, England and Wales and Denmark have rates of 49 per cent, 45 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

Italians are the most likely to stick with their partners, with fewer than one in 10 of marriages ending in divorce.