Legal marriage registrations up by 62% in Rwanda

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 12 May 2024 at 04:22

The number of persons who tied the knot recorded a significant 62.9 per cent increase in 2023 compared to the previous year.

According to the latest report from the National Institute of Statistics Rwanda (NISR), data sourced from the National Centralized and Integrated Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (NCI-CRVS) System shows that the number of registered legal marriages rose from 35,529 to 57,880 in 2023.

NICR said the sharp increase was likely a result of increased sensitization of couples to formalize their unions.

“These abnormal changes in marriages registered can likely be attributed to the sensitization of couples living in consensual unions to officialize their marriages,” the new report reads in part.

For a marriage to be considered official in Rwanda, it must be officiated by a civil registrar at a sector office, district office, or Rwandan embassy.

It’s estimated that for every population of 1,000 people in Rwanda, 43 marriages were officiated in 2023.

“The comparison of registered marriages with the resident population size gives a crude marriage rate equivalent to 4.3%,” the report adds.

Since 2019, the number of registered marriages has been fluctuating, dropping from 48,526 in 2019 to 30,859 in 2020 against a population of 12,663,116 people.

In 2021, 33,809 marriages were officiated, and in 2022, 35,529 people formalized their unions.

In 2023, a high number of marriages were officiated in Gasabo (5,177) and Rulindo (3,223) districts, while low numbers were observed in Nyabihu district (881) and Embassy (52).

In terms of age trends, there was a general observation that the number of marriages is high among females compared to men under 30 years old, while above 30 years old, the number of marriages becomes high among males compared to females.

On the matrimonial regime, 97.6 per cent of the unions signed a contract detailing joint ownership of their property, dubbed "The Community of Property.

Two per cent of the couples opted for the Limited Community of Property regime, in which spouses agree to pool their respective properties owned on the day of the marriage celebration, to constitute the basis of the acquests as well as the property acquired during marriage by common or separate activity, donation, legacy, or succession.

Some 0.4 per cent of the couples chose the Separation of Property regime, in which spouses agree to contribute to the expenses of the household in proportion to their respective abilities while retaining the right of enjoyment, administration, and free disposal of their personal property.

The report further reveals that the number of marriages is generally high between females and males with the same levels of education.

“Females who attended university are more likely to get married with males having the same level of education (2,743 cases) or those with upper secondary (760) while they are less likely to get married with those who never attended or only attended the preschool (5 and 2 cases, respectively),” the report reads.