China.com recently reported that, according to data just published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2021, the number of first marriages in China was 11.578 million, a decrease of 708,000 from the previous year. This is also the first time in 37 years that the number of first marriages has fallen below 12 million. It represents a new low since 1985. In the past 8 years, the number of first marriages has dropped by 51.5 percent. Data also shows that in 2021, there were 7.643 million marriage registrations. This is the first time since 2003 that the number of marriages has fallen below the 8 million mark. In recent years, the age of the first marriage of young people has been greatly delayed. According to the China Census Yearbook-2020, the average age of a first marriage in 2020 was 28.67 years old, an increase of 3.78 years from the average age of first marriages in 2010 (24.89 years old). Marriage registration data includes the number of first marriages and the number of remarriages. The number of first marriages is more closely related to the number of births than the number of remarriages. The decline in the number of marriages will also have a greater impact on future population development. First, the number of births will decrease even more and the birth rate will continue to decline. Second, the natural growth rate of the population will also be affected. Third, the average life expectancy of people will continue to increase and the population structure will further age. Data shows that in 2021, the proportion of China’s population aged 65 and over reached 14.2 percent. With reasons such as the decrease in the number of first marriages, this ratio is expected to continue to increase.
Source: China.com, December 2, 2022