New marriages dropped by 49% amid the pandemic in Quebec

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An estimated 11,300 marriages took place in Quebec in 2020, a 49-per-cent drop compared to the previous year — an unprecedented decline.

Not since 1903 have so few marriages taken place in the province, according to a report published Tuesday by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Due to the pandemic, there were severe restrictions on events such as marriages during much of 2020.

“The decline in marriages began in March 2020 and was particularly pronounced in early summer, the season in which the majority of the year’s weddings are normally celebrated,” the provincial statistics institute said.

“In May, June and July of 2020, the fall was around 70 per cent compared to the average for 2015 to 2019. While the gap compared to previous years narrowed beginning in August, the first monthly results for 2021 indicate that the number of marriages remains below average.”

The decline in religious marriages was more pronounced than in civil ones, the institute said.

And the decrease was greater among couples where both spouses were born in Canada, compared to cases where one or both were born abroad.

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