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China’s 2022 Marriage Registrations below Seven Million, Marking New Low

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs released its 2022 report showing that only 6.835 million legal marriages were registered last year. This represents a 10.6% drop from 2021 and the first year in recent history with fewer than 7 million marriages.

A Yicai report linked the sharp decline in marriages to (1) people delaying their first marriages, (2) a smaller population of marriage-aged people, (3) changes in mindset among the marriage-aged population, and (4) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statistics show that marriages in China fell below 10 million in 2019, below 9 million in 2020, below 8 million in 2021, and now below 7 million in 2022. The trend of decline in marriages has continued for 9 years following the peak of 13.469 million marriages registered in 2013.

Age distribution data show that only 15.2% of marriages in 2022 were entered by people 20-24 years old, down 1.3 percentage points from the year before. A health official said that those born in 1990s and 2000s who grew up in cities with more education and job competition are delaying marriage and children.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 15, 2023