Slumping Marriage Numbers

A Chinese couple holding their marriage certificates pose for photos in a sunflower field in Beijing on July 9, 2021. Photo: AFP / Jade Gao

China’s slumping marriage numbers and declining birth rates have prompted Beijing to boost its recent pro-birth policies with new measures aimed at promoting marriage and deterring divorce.

Statistics show marriage and parenthood are losing their appeal with China’s Y and Z generations and Millennials. Only eight million marriages were registered in the world’s most populous nation in 2020.

This is about one-third lower than 2013’s peak of 13.47 million and is down 12.2% year-on-year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, the state body that maintains a national register of marital changes.  

The rising tendency towards postponing marriage or forgoing it altogether in both genders is in line with key findings from China’s latest population census last year. The census revealed a fast-aging demographic with fewer newborns and a shrinking labor force. 

After loosening its childbearing policy in June to allow each couple to have as many as three children, up from a previous revision up to two, Beijing is now finalizing plans to promote wedlock to increase baby making, starting by making marriage easier and cheaper. 

Read more at “China making marriage easier, divorce harder”

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Filed under chinese culture, workplace insights

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