Number of newly married couples drops 17.5% compared with 2019
Published: Nov 16, 2021 01:38 AM
A newly married couple at a marriage registration center in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 20, 2021. Photo: Xinhua
A newly married couple at a marriage registration center in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 20, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

 The number of newly married couples in China in the first three quarters has plummeted by 17.5 percent compared with 2019. Young people's willingness to get married is declining both in cities and the countryside.

According to statistics from China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, there were 5.88 million newly married couples in the first three quarters of 2021, 17.5 percent less than in the same period of 2019.

From 2013 to 2020, the number of marriage registrations fell from a record high of 13.47 million couples to 8.13 million, according to a report by Tsinghua University's Evergrande Research Institute.

"The fall in newly married couples has become an accelerating trend and will lead to a decrease of married women of child-bearing age, which will definitely affect the number of newborn babies," quoted Dong Yuzheng, director of the Guangdong Academy of Population Development, as saying.

Several surveys have shown a drop in willingness among young people to get married, whether they live in urban or rural areas.

A research team from China's Communist Youth League found out in early October that 34 percent of 2,905 urban respondents aged 18-26 no longer considered marriage as inevitable. Female respondents had the lowest willingness to get married, with nearly 44 percent saying they wouldn't or were not sure about getting married, 19.3 percentage points higher than among male respondents.

More and more young people in rural areas don't regard marriage as a necessity. According to surveys conducted in two different rural regions in East China's Zhejiang, over 30 percent of respondents said they don't need to do it, or that they don't care about getting married.

The longer period of education young people receive could delay their marriage age, said Dong. There are more females receiving higher education than males, which may explain their lower willingness to get married.

Rapid urbanization has brought great pressure in terms of housing, consumption and transportation, affecting ideas about marriage. Cases like fear of marriage, late marriage and no marriage are getting more and more attention around the country, Dong noted.

China's cabinet decided in late September to repeal three administrative regulations related to family planning policies, including regulations on technical services for family planning, social maintenance fees and family planning work for the migrant population.

Multiple places in China have introduced policies encouraging families to have more children, including giving house-buying and child-raising subsidies, extending maternity leave and promoting equality for women in employment.

Global Times