Is romance dead?

Marriage down, divorce up in Kurdistan Region

ERBIL – In 2023, the Kurdistan Region experienced a decline in marriage rates compared to the previous year, while the number of divorce cases increased, according to data from the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region. This body encompasses the Appellate Courts in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, and Kirkuk/Garmiyan.

The council identified 12 primary reasons for divorce, which included 1,464 cases of ‘incompatibility’, 829 due to age differences, and 535 of impotence.

598 were down to the lack of a separate residence – issues stemming from the widespread practice of brides moving in with their in-laws, a common cultural expectation in the region, rather than establishing independent living spaces for the newlywed couple. This often leads to conflicts and privacy issues, contributing significantly to marital discord.

239 recorded divorces were over polygamy.

In addition, 557 families affected by mobile and internet usage, 763 cases of marital infidelity, 15 cases attributed to one partner ‘having a disease’, 522 for ‘social reasons’, 190 for financial reasons, and 145 classified as ‘other’.

Notably, no divorces were recorded over religious differences.

Marriage and divorce statistics for 2023 show a decrease in marriage rates from 2022. In Erbil, marriages decreased from 19,019 in 2022 to 17,543 in 2023, a drop of 1,476. In Sulaymaniyah, the marriage rate fell by approximately 3.48 percent. Duhok saw a decrease in marriage rates by approximately 3.61 percent. In Kirkuk/Garmiyan, the marriage rate declined by approximately 4.66 percent.

In total, 2023 saw 53,087 marriages and 14,312 divorces, compared to 55,896 marriages and 13,967 divorces in 2022.

Kirkuk sees 12-percent jump in divorce rates in 2023

Kirkuk sees 12-percent jump in divorce rates in 2023

Divorces in Garmiyan jump by 70 percent in 2023

Divorces in Garmiyan jump by 70 percent in 2023