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Kuwait sees 5.3% drop in divorce, 2.6% decline in marriages in 2023

Last year saw a reduction in the number of marriage cases from 13,656 cases in 2022 to 13,303 cases in 2023, marking a decrease of 353 cases.

  • Among spouses, 44.6% of marriages involve individuals with university degrees, followed by those with post-secondary diplomas at 20.4%, high school qualifications at 18.5%, and intermediate qualifications at 12.0%.

  • Around 40.3% of couples fall within the age group of 25-29 years, followed by the age group of 30-34 years at 20.8%, and the age group of 20-24 years at 14.5% of total marriages.

  • The expected annual average number of marriages is projected to be 13,628 cases, with a minimum of 10,597 cases and a maximum of 16,659 cases during the period of 2024-2028. These expectations are considered 95% reliable.

  • The highest percentage of divorce cases was among wives with university qualifications, at 42.3%, followed by those with ‘diploma’ qualifications and high school qualifications, at 21.4% and 20.3%, respectively.

  • The highest percentage of divorce cases for spouses occurred in Al-Ahmadi Governorate at 19.9%, followed by Hawalli Governorate at 19.0%, Farwaniya Governorate at 17.6%, and the Capital Governorate at 15.6%.

In a notable demonstration of the state’s efforts, led by the Ministry of Justice alongside various government agencies and public benefit associations, to address the rising divorce rates in Kuwait, significant progress has been made. The efforts culminated in a lower divorce rate in 2023 compared to previous years. However, it was observed that marriage rates also declined during the same period.

According to the ‘Annual Statistical Book’ compiled by the Department of Statistics and Research within the Information Technology and Statistics Sector at the Ministry of Justice, as reported by Al-Anbaa newspaper, the year 2023 saw a reduction in the number of marriage cases from 13,656 cases in 2022 to 13,303 cases in 2023, marking a decrease of 353 cases, or 2.6%.

The relative distribution of marriages during 2023 according to the nationality of the spouses, their educational status, age, marriage rate, future expectations, types of divorce, cases of review, etc., was as follows:

Marriage by the nationality of the spouses:

A. 69.7% of marriages involve both spouses being Kuwaiti nationals.
B. 16.1% of marriages involve both spouses being of non-Kuwaiti nationality.
C. 10.3% of marriages involve a Kuwaiti husband and a non-Kuwaiti wife.
D. 3.9% of marriages involve a non-Kuwaiti husband and a Kuwaiti wife.

Educational status of spouses:

Among spouses, 44.6% of marriages involve individuals with university degrees, followed by those with post-secondary diplomas at 20.4%, high school qualifications at 18.5%, and intermediate qualifications at 12.0%. The remaining educational cases account for 4.5% of total marriage cases.

Educational status of wives:

In terms of wives’ educational status, 54.5% of marriages are with individuals holding university degrees, followed by those with secondary qualifications at 23.0%, post-secondary diploma qualifications at 14.3%, and intermediate qualifications at 5.4%. The remaining educational cases make up 2.8% of total marriage cases.

Age of spouses:

The statistical book shows that 40.3% of couples fall within the age group of 25-29 years, followed by the age group of 30-34 years at 20.8%, and the age group of 20-24 years at 14.5% of total marriages.
The percentage of wives increases in the age group from 25 to 29 years, reaching 31.8%, then in the age group from 20 to 24 years by 30.5%, followed by the age group from 30 to 34 years by 13.3% of the total number of marriages.

Attestation cases:

Regarding attestation cases, the number increased from 1,177 cases in 2022 to 1,285 cases in 2023, representing an increase of 108 cases or 9.2%. The highest number of attestation cases for husbands and wives occurred in 2023 when the husband is Kuwaiti and the wife is non-Kuwaiti, accounting for 64.7%.

Marriage rate in relation to population:

The marriage rate decreased from 306 cases per 100,000 population in 2022 to 276 cases per 100,000 population in 2023, a decrease of 30 cases or 9.8%. The marriage rate reached 2.8 cases per 1,000 population in 2023.

Future expectations:

The expected annual average number of marriages is projected to be 13,628 cases, with a minimum of 10,597 cases and a maximum of 16,659 cases during the period of 2024-2028. These expectations are considered 95% reliable.

Divorce cases:

The total number of divorce cases in Kuwait decreased from 8,307 cases in 2022 to 7,865 cases in 2023, a decrease of 442 cases or 5.3%.

There was also a decrease in divorces occurring in the first year of marriage. The total number of divorces in the same year of marriage decreased from 740 cases in 2022 to 710 cases in 2023, a decrease of 30 cases or 4.1%.

Breakdown of nationalities in divorce cases in 2023:

A. 62.8% of divorce cases involve both spouses being of Kuwaiti nationality.
B. 17.5% of divorce cases involve both spouses being of non-Kuwaiti nationality.
C. 12.6% of divorce cases involve a Kuwaiti husband and a non-Kuwaiti wife.
D. 7.1% of divorce cases involve a non-Kuwaiti husband and a Kuwaiti wife.

Duration of marital life:

The Ministry of Justice’s statistics focused on studying the duration of marital life. The statistics revealed that the highest percentage of divorce cases occurred among couples whose duration of married life was from one year to less than five years, accounting for 35.8% of the total cases. This was followed by cases with a duration of married life from ten years to less than 20 years, at 18.5%.

Additionally, cases with a duration of less than a year made up 18.4% of total cases, followed by cases with a duration of married life from five years to less than ten years at 17.7%, and those with a duration of marital life of 20 years and over at 9.6%.

University graduates have the highest rate of divorce. Regarding the educational status of divorce rates, the highest percentage of divorce cases was among spouses with university qualifications, accounting for 30.7% of total divorce cases. This was followed by those with intermediate qualifications at 21.9%, secondary education at 21.6%, and diploma holders at 19.9% of total divorce cases.

The highest percentage of divorce cases was among wives with university qualifications, at 42.3%, followed by those with ‘diploma’ qualifications and high school qualifications, at 21.4% and 20.3%, respectively. Cases with intermediate qualifications accounted for 11.6% of the total divorce cases.

Age group:

The highest percentage of divorce cases was among spouses in the age group of 45 years and older, accounting for 28.1% of the total divorce cases. This was followed by the age group of 30-34 years at 20.1%, the age group of 25-29 years at 18.0%, and the age group of 35-39 years at 17.6%.

For wives specifically, the highest percentage of divorce cases was in the age group of 25-29 years, comprising 22.2% of the total divorce cases. This was followed by the age group of 30-34 years at 19.8%, the age group of 45 years and older at 18.0%, and the age group of 35-39 years at 15.7%.

Divorce cases by governorates:

Regarding divorce cases by governorates, the highest percentage of divorce cases for spouses occurred in Al-Ahmadi Governorate at 19.9%, followed by Hawalli Governorate at 19.0%, Farwaniya Governorate at 17.6%, and the Capital Governorate at 15.6%.

For wives specifically, the highest percentage of divorce cases was in Hawalli Governorate at 19.4%, followed by Al-Ahmadi Governorate at 18.7%, Farwaniya Governorate at 16.9%, and the Capital Governorate at 15.2%.

Types of divorces:

The percentage of first irrevocable divorces reached 56.4% of the total divorce cases, marking a decrease of 8.1% from the year 2022 and the percentage of irrevocable first divorces reached 27.9% of the total divorce cases, indicating a decrease of 4.2% from the year 2022.

Irrevocable second divorce cases accounted for 9.7% of the total divorce cases, maintaining a similar number as in 2022 and third irrevocable divorce cases with major disputes constituted 3.9% of the total divorce cases, reflecting an increase of 11.3% from the year 2022.

Additionally, the percentage of irrevocable second divorce cases reached 2.1% of the total divorce cases, indicating an increase of 7.7% from the year 2022.

Divorce cases of couples with one or more spouses:

The number of divorce cases for couples with one or more spouses remaining in their marriage decreased from 1,365 cases in 2022 to 1,252 cases in 2023, a decrease of 113 cases or 8.3%.

Form of divorce:

The percentage of divorce certificates reached 73.9% of the total divorce cases, marking a relative decrease of 5.8% compared to 2022. The percentage of divorce cases based on a ruling reached 18.0% of the total divorce cases, indicating a relative decrease of 0.7%.

Regarding divorce cases settled by mutual agreement, their rate reached 8.1% of the total divorce cases, showing a relative decrease of 10.6% compared to the year 2022.

Divorce before consummation:

The statistical book indicates a drop in the number of divorce cases before consummation, from 610 cases in 2022 to 600 cases in 2023, marking a decrease of ten cases, with a change rate of 1.6%.

Review cases:

The number of review cases increased from 1,060 cases in 2022 to 1,083 cases in 2023, a rise of 23 cases, at a rate of 2.2%. The highest number of review cases for couples occurred in 2023 when both the husband and wife are Kuwaiti nationals, accounting for 62.3% of review cases.

Future marriages outlook:

According to recent statistics, the anticipated annual average for marriages is projected to be 13,628 cases between the years 2024 and 2028, with a minimum of 10,597 cases and a maximum of 16,659 cases. This forecast carries a reliability rate of 95%.



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