More Births but Fewer Weddings in Iceland Skip to content

More Births but Fewer Weddings in Iceland

The number of births at the national hospital, Landspítali, in Reykjavík has increased by 3.5 percent from January 1 to August 10 this year compared to the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, fewer couples are getting married than last summer.

Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“I believe all priests here in the southwestern corner agree that there are fewer weddings in most churches,” Rev. Vigfús Thór Árnason of Grafarvogskirkja in Reykjavík told Morgunbladid.

Árnason said he had performed four to five weddings each Saturday last summer but that their number has now dropped to one or two.

Weddings in Iceland have grown in size and grandeur for the past years and people may have canceled their wedding plans due to a tight budget following the economic crisis.

Árnason stated it is possible to get married without spending a truckload of money. “People shouldn’t cancel their plans but rather accept the situation for what it is and live with it.”

At Landspítali, 2,029 babies were born in the first seven-and-a-half months of 2008 while so far this year 2,101 births have been registered. Many births are coming up in the next few months so the hospital may be looking at an all-time record in childbirths.

Senior midwife Gudrún G. Eggertsdóttir said she doesn’t have an explanation for this increase but employees at the maternity ward have been wondering whether the crisis may have a part in it.

However, cutbacks at other hospitals can only explain the increase to a small extent since midwives in Keflavík and Selfoss have been able to tend to most natural births as usual.

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