Marriage age increases as ratio of couples aged 25-39 rises
Published: Oct 15, 2023 11:04 PM
Newlyweds hold a giant paper cutting shaped as the Chinese character xi or

Newlyweds hold a giant paper cutting shaped as the Chinese character xi or "double happiness," after getting their marriage certificate at the Haidian district civil affairs bureau in Beijing on the day of the Qixi Festival, the Chinese Valentine's day which fell this year on August 22, 2023. Photo: Li Hao/Global Times

From 2013 to 2022, people aged between 25 and 29 made up the highest proportion of couples registering for marriage in the Chinese mainland, and the ratio of couples aged between 30 and 34 and between 35 and 39 continued to rise, according to statistics released by China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In 2022, the proportion of the married couples aged between 25 and 29 was 37.24 percent, an increase of 1.96 percentage points compared to a year ago, said the latest statistical bulletin released by the ministry. The ratio of couples aged between 30 and 34 and aged between 35 and 39 respectively rose to 20.7 and 9.1 percent in 2022 from 11.3 and 6.6 percent in 2010. 

The ratio of couples aged between 20 and 24, however, dropped to 15.2 percent in 2022, a continuous decline since 2010, when the ratio was 37.6 percent.

Post-1990 and later generations, who are the main groups of prime marriage and childbearing age, mostly grew up and worked in cities and towns, and they have more years of education and face greater employment pressure, Yang Jinrui, a senior official on population matters at the National Health Commission, said in January. 

The ministry said earlier in 2023 that a total of 6.84 million couples registered for marriage in 2022, a drop of 10.6 percent compared to 2021, which hit the lowest point since records began in 1986. The number of divorced couples reached 2.879 million in 2022, a 1.4 percentage point rise compared to 2021, said the latest bulletin.

In the first half of 2023, 3.93 million couples registered for marriage in China, an increase of 196,000 registrations compared to the same period in 2022 CCTV News reported.

According to the National Health Commission (NHC), the Chinese mainland had 9.56 million newborns in 2022, with the second child of a married couple and three or more children in a family accounting for 38.9 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

In response to the phenomenon of fewer marriages and low fertility, China has released a series of support policies in finance, taxes, housing, employment, education and other fields to create a marriage-friendly and fertility-friendly society, as the country faces growing pressure from falling birth rates.