Updated March 18th, 2024 at 12:55 IST

China sees surge in marriages, reversing a nine-year decline

While the number of newlyweds is still below the peak seen in 2013, this reversal in trend has caught the attention of policymakers.

Reported by: Business Desk
Marriage rates in China | Image:Representative image from Unsplash
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Chinese marriage trends: China witnessed a significant increase in the number of new marriages in 2023, marking the first rise in marriage rates in nearly a decade. According to data released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the number of newlyweds jumped by 12.4 per cent compared to the previous year, with 7.68 million couples tying the knot.

This uptick in marriages comes after years of declining marriage rates, as many young people delayed their nuptials due to the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the number of newlyweds is still below the peak seen in 2013, this reversal in trend has caught the attention of policymakers.

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Premier Li Qiang recently announced government efforts to create a more "birth-friendly society" and promote balanced population development. China is facing the challenges of a declining birth rate and a rapidly aging population, with approximately 300 million Chinese expected to enter retirement in the next decade.

The decline in population has raised concerns about its impact on the economy's growth potential. However, the recent increase in marriage rates has provided some hope, as marriage is closely linked to birth rates. Policymakers are optimistic that a rise in marriages could lead to an increase in childbirth, helping to offset the population decline.

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Interestingly, the Year of the Dragon, which began on February 10, has seen a surge in childbirths, with many Chinese families considering the Dragon zodiac sign particularly auspicious.

Despite these positive developments, many young people in China are still opting to stay single or delay marriage due to factors such as poor job prospects, high youth unemployment, and low consumer confidence amid a slowing economy.

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(With Reuters inputs.)

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Published March 18th, 2024 at 12:55 IST