Marriage registrations fall to record low in China

Updated: Jun 13, 2023 Print
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Young women look at flowers on May 18, 2023 at a stall in Kunming, Yunnan province, ahead of May 20, which falls on Saturday, as "520" is a homophone of "I love you" in Chinese. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China recorded a decline in marriage registrations -- 6.83 million in 2022, according to the latest quarterly report released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs on its website.

The number of marriage registration last year was the lowest ever seen since the ministry started to release such data in 1986. Compared with 2013, the number of marriage registrations has fallen 49.3 percent.

China saw a record high of 13.47 million marriage registration in 2013. The number of marriage registrations dropped below 10 million in 2019 and continued to fall by a million every year since then. In 2021, the figure dropped to 7.64 million.

A decline in the number of people of marriageable age is one of the reasons behind falling marriage registrations and marriage rate in China. From 1980 to 1989, the average annual birth stood at 22.09 million persons, while from 1990 to 1999, the figure declined to 20.85 million.

Delayed marriage is another driver of the fall in the marriage rate. From 2010 to 2020, the average age for Chinese women's first marriage rose from 24 to 27.95, up almost four years in 10 years.

In 2022, 2.1 million couples registered for divorce, and the figure in 2021 was 2.14 million, according to the latest quarterly report.

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