Bulgaria ranked at the tail end of European statistics on intermarriage with foreign nationals, the European Union’s statistics bureau Eurostat said, as quoted by Bulgarian news agency BTA.
The rate of mixed marriages in Bulgaria was only 0.4 per cent, with Romania the only EU country to rank behind Bulgaria in this statistic, the report said.
According to domestic statistics, there have been about 10 000 mixed marriages recorded in Bulgaria over the past five years. However, in 2011, the number fell to 1349, compared to between 2000 and 2400 on average over the preceding years.
That decline mirrored a drastic fall in the overall number of marriages, which stood at 21 000 in 2011, compared to 29 000 in 2007.
On average, Bulgarian women were three times more likely to marry a foreigner than Bulgarian men, National Statistics Institute data showed.
The EU average for mixed marriages was 12 per cent in 2008-2010. Among EU member states, the highest ratio of intermarriage was recorded in Latvia – 20 per cent. A similar rate was recorded in Switzerland, followed by Luxembourg (18 per cent), while the rate in Cyprus, France and Germany was about 15 per cent.
Other countries with low rates of intermarriage in the EU included Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Italy.
The statistics only took into account marriages, not alternative means cohabitation, which have become firmly established in most EU countries, Eurostat said.