Civil unions last year opened the way for same-sex couples in Cyprus to make their commitment to each other official in the eyes of the law.
However, official figures show that heterosexual couples are also embracing the option with around half of the over 130 couples that have so far entered into civil unions since January 1, 2016 involving a man and a woman.
According to Nicosia District Office data, most of the civil unions took place in Nicosia and Limassol.
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According to the data, of the over 80 unions make official in Nicosia since January 1 last year, 24 involved gay couples and specifically 19 unions between men and five between women.
The data also showed that 39 civil unions took place between people Cypriot origin, 13 between non-Cypriots, and 31 between couples made up of one Cypriot and one non-Cypriot.
District Officials officials told Phileleftheros newspaper that many of the Cypriot couples appeared to have decided to officialise their relationship to be granted state subsidies with a particular increase noted since paid paternity leave was introduced. To be eligible, a father must be either married to or have entered into a civil union with his child’s mother.
Overall, 57% of the civil unions in all of Cyprus involved two Cypriot nationals while over 20 Russian couples and 10 Ukrainian couples chose to make their union official in Cyprus.
Smaller numbers came from Syria, Iraq, Israel and elsewhere.
When it comes to the age of couples, 41% were aged up to 30, 28% between 30 and 40, 13% between 40 and 50, and 16% aged 50 or above.
Around 50 civil unions have taken place in Limassol since January 1, 2016 while the exact number for other districts have not been released but are understood to be far lower.