Is the number of PACS civil unions in France the same as the number of marriages?
In fact, the number of PACS civil unions [Pacte Civil de Solidarité] per year should soon exceed the number of marriages. PACS numbers have been rising almost continuously since this new form of contractual union was established in 1999. In 2019, the total number of PACS regardless of partner sex came to 196,000 (including overseas departments). Conversely, the number of marriages has fallen—to 225,000 in 2019, or 23% fewer than twenty years earlier. The health crisis caused a historic drop in marriage numbers in 2020 (down 34% from 2019), but in 2021 they rose again, nearly reaching the 2019 level (220,000).
The proportion of “PACSed” couples in France’s overall population is still relatively low: of the 15 million couples living in France in 2018, only 8% were PACSed, while 72% were married and 20% were in a free union. Many of those couples had institutionalized their union before the PACS was established in 1999. And what accounts for nearly half of PACS dissolutions is a switch from PACS to marriage by the partners in question.
Online: June 2022