CHINA / SOCIETY
Regional marriage rate in China showing a negative correlation with local GDP: report
Published: Feb 23, 2021 12:29 PM

Photo: VCG

A report found the more developed a region is in China, the bigger drop of local marriage rate will be, posing a new challenge for China's demographic crisis combined with a lower birth rate and increasing burden of providing for the aging population. 

"Since 2013, marriage rates in most parts of China have seen a decrease characterized by regional disparity and negative correlation with GDP. Population mobility and aging also put an influence," the report said. 

In particular, eastern coastal areas in China, which are developed regions, saw lower marriage rates compared with other regions, according to the report led by Ren Zeping, chief economist of Evergrande. 

In 2019, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin which are all big provincial economies, reported the lowest marriage rates across China. Shanghai, Zhejiang and Shandong ranked the lowest with 4.1 percent, 5 percent and 5.3 percent marriage rate respectively. 

The marriage rate in Beijing was 6 percent, the eighth from bottom and lower than the national level of 6.6 percent, said the report. 

By comparison, the marriage rates of underdeveloped areas in western China were relatively high. In 2019, Southwest China's Guizhou, Qinghai provinces and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region reported their local marriage rate at 9.9 percent, 9.6 percent and 8.8 percent. 

Official marriage statistics for 2020 by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have not been released. 

"Economic development and population mobility will also influence the rate of divorce. A region with weak economic development and serious population outflow usually sees higher rate of divorce, because the long-distance relationship in long term may put adverse impacts," the report noted. 

China's dropping birth rate and gender imbalance have become two biggest challenges for the country of 1.4 billion people. 

According to the data by China's Ministry of Public Security released on February 8, the new-born babies with official registration at China's public security organs in 2020 hit 10.03 million, decreasing around 15 percent compared with that in 2019 (11.79 million). 

To boost population, the report suggested less burden for youths in terms of housing, employment and education. 

In addition, it called for the government to immediately lift restrictions on having the third baby in a family because the demographic situation is pressing. 

Li Jiheng, Chinese minister of Civil Affairs said in late 2020 that China's total fertility rate has fallen below the warning line, and the population growth has moved to a critical turning point. 


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