Poles Not Marrying

Have Your Cake & Eat It

Have Your Cake & Eat It

The number of marriages in Poland is at its lowest since 1945. From January to August 2013 only 117,700 marriages were registered. That is 10% lower than last year, according to a Central Statistical Office (GUS) report. Even if in the upcoming months the same number of couples as last year decide to get married, the figure will not exceed 190,000. It is now the fourth year in a row that the number of marriages has decreased. GUS believes this is linked to a fall in the number of people aged 25-30. What is more, young people are emigrating from Poland. “Polish people provide a large labour force for the rest of Europe,” says Paweł Kaczmarczyk of the Centre for Migration Research. 11% of those who were born between 1977 and 1986 have left the country. Moreover, Polish people are more happy to live and have children together without being married. 21% of children nowadays are born out of wedlock. Professor Irena Kotowska of the Warsaw School of Economics claims that Polish couples take the decision to marry only when they are expecting a baby. “Marriage is the best form of legal custody,” she says. Łukasz Hardt an expert from the Large Families Association says that the government discriminates against married couples. Nursery school enrolment rules, tax return regulations and programmes supporting young couples who want to buy property do not encourage people to marry. Michał Kot from the Republican Foundation points out that the situation is similar when it comes to access to council flats. “If a single mother gets married and her partner or husband is a high earner, she loses the right to live there”. Łukasz Hardt describes how enrollment to nursery schools is an example of governmental discrimination against married couples: “A single parent does not have any problems, but if you are married, your child has difficulties enrolling”.

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