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(People's Daily Online) Sociology experts believe that the plummeting marriage rate in China since 2013 can be attributed to such factors as marriageable population decline, preference to marrying later and a speed up in urbanization, People’s Daily Overseas Edition reported on Wednesday.
Over three million couples got married in China during the first quarter of 2018, according to data from China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.
However, that number decreased by 5.7 percent since the same period last year, and almost 30 percent since 2013, when the figure stood at about 4.3 million.
Moreover, statistics also indicate that developed areas such as Shanghai, Tianjin and southeast China’s Zhejiang province enjoy lower marriage rates.
Views of love, marriage and reproduction vary among different generations with economic and social development and change, said Professor Lu Jiehua of Peking University.
Later marriage or choosing not to marry at all have become increasingly popular with generations born after 1980 and 1990, said Lu, adding that society is now more open to various life style choices.
For example, in east China’s Jiangsu province, the average age that citizens get married has increased every year since 2013. According to official data, in 2014, women in Shanghai got married at the average age of 28.14.
Almost half of Chinese adults take higher education, and the rising number of graduate and post-graduate students is pushing back the time for young adults to start a career and settle down, said Professor Zhai Zhenwu, Dean of the School of Sociology and Population Studies at Renmin University of China.
Generally, those who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in China are about 23 years old, while through previous decades adults at such an age would have already been married, said Zhai.
An expert analyzed that outside of China, lowering marriage rates have evolved into a global trend as population continues to pour into cities, driving economic development as well as pulling down marriage rates.
China has stepped into an aging society, with about 13 percent of people aged 60 and over, quoting the census result in 2011. The plummeting marriage rate is likely to accelerate the old-age boom.