By Katarina Blomqvist, 2006
Divorce figures reached record heights in 1989 with the legal dissolution of 15,152 marriages. That same year 30,894 couples got married. 
Family structures in Denmark have changed in many ways during the past 40 years. It has become quite normal to live alone, to live together without getting married, to have children outside wedlock, to divorce and start new relationships involving the co-parenting of children from previous relationships, or to be a single mother or single father. New words and expressions have entered the language to cover all eventualities. 
In the 1970s the women’s movement criticised marriage and the nuclear family as being instrumental in women’s oppression. Many young people experimented with other living arrangements, open or casual sexual relationships, communes etc. 
Coupledom and the nuclear family survived, however, and are still, if not a reality, then at least an ideal for most Danes. 
Today, before reaching the age of 18, approximately every fourth child in Denmark will see his or her parents divorce. 

Marriages and divorces

Year No of Marriages No of Divorces
1960 35,897 8,682
1970 36,376 9,524
1980 26,448 13,593
1989   15,152
1990 31,513 13,731
2000 38,388 14,381
2005 36,148 15,300


Year No of children born within marriage No of children born outside marriage
1960 70,124 5,593
1970 62,991 7,811
1980 38,289 19,004
1990 33,998 29,435
2000 37,179 29,902
2005   29,364