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(People's Daily Online) Only 7.2 people out of every 1,000 got married in China last year, the lowest marriage rate in the latest 10 years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.|
The marriage rates were lower in developed regions. For example, last year, only 4.4 people out of every 1,000 in Shanghai got married, the lowest rate in the country, and 5.9 people out of every 1,000 in eastern Zhejiang province got married, the country’s second-lowest rate. Guangdong, Beijing, and Tianjin also registered low marriage rates.
Yuan Xin, a professor of population and development at Nankai University, said the primary reason for the drop is that the proportion of people unwilling to marry is rising.
The average ages of men and women getting married in Shanghai stood at 30.3 and 28.4 years old in 2015, 5 and 5.4 years later than in 2005, according to a report released by Shanghai’s Women’s Federation.
Those who choose to tie the knot later usually have higher educational backgrounds, Yuan said. Nearly 40 percent of female staff at universities are working on or have obtained a doctorate. As a result, they are more likely to start a family with someone of similar educational backgrounds and this may take longer to find.
About 7 percent of women aged between 30 and 35 years old in China are unmarried today, a figure more than 10 times higher than it was in 1990.
The acceleration of urbanization raises the economic burden in urban areas, which makes them less likely to marry and have children. Moreover, the migration of rural workers to cities has, to a certain extent, made them less likely to get married as young as their peers do in the countryside.
A survey by the Communist Youth League of China released in 2018 indicated that 69.5 percent of respondents said they would not get married until they met the right person, and 15.6 percent said they would prefer to stay single.