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Fewer marriages, population declines slower

More children were born and less people died in 2004, but there were also fewer marriages, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported. The pace of population decline got slower than in 2003. According to preliminary figures, 43,800 couples got married in 2004 and 95,100 children were born, while 132,500 people died. The number of marriages dropped by 3.5%, that is 1,600 fewer weddings than a year before. The declining rate of births stopped during the year, in the last two months of the year 8.3% more kids (about 1,200 more) were born than in the same period of 2003.  The number of deaths declined again last year. In three months of the year 2004 more people died than  in the year before, but in nine months less people died. As a result of this, the number of deaths dropped by 2.4%, that is 3,300 people. The decline of deaths and the slight increase of births reduced the pace of population decline.