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Fewer Belgians became widow or widower than in 2020

In 2021, in Belgium, 41,885 people lost their spouses, becoming widows or widowers: 69.1% women and 30.9% men.

The number of people who have become a widow(er) decreased by 7.3% compared to Covid-19 year 2020. Compared to 2019, there was a slight increase.

Divorce broken heart
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This decrease was -14.9% in the Brussels Region, -11.4% in Wallonia and -4.1% in Flanders, respectively.

Compared to the pre-Covid years 2019, 2018 and 2017, the Belgian rate of people who have become a widow(er) does remain on the high side with +5.6%, +3.9% and +4.1% more in 2021, respectively.

More than half of widows and widowers were older than 75 (55.1%). This was particularly the case in Flanders (59.6%). In Wallonia (47.9%) and the Brussels-Capital Region (48.1%), almost one in two was older than 75.

On average, men became a widower at 76.8 years and women a widow at 74.1 years. The average duration of marriages ending due to the death of one of the partners was 48.5 years in 2021, compared to 49 years in 2020. More than 6 in 10 marriages end with the death of one of the spouses.

Source: Statbel

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