Divorce outpaces marriage in China

Double happiness Chinese characterThe divorce rate in China has now outpaced the marriage rate, new figures reveal.

Nearly  three million Chinese couples filed for divorce in 2012, claim a report by the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs – a jump of more than seven per cent over the year before. Meanwhile, the number of couples marrying in China the same year was just over 13 million, an increase of only 1.6 per over the previous year.

The reports cites a total of 2,874,000 divorce applications during 2012. More than 35 per cent of the marriage applicants were aged 20 to 24, while couples aged 25-29 applying to marry increased to more than 34 per cent, a 0.8 per cent rise over the previous year.

The legal minimum age for marriage in the People’s Republic is 22 for me and 20 for women. Historically Chinese people living in rural areas tended to get married later than those living in cities but many people from country areas have migrated to the cities in recent decades and adopted urban living patterns.

Photo of the ‘Double Happiness’ Chinese wedding motif by RD the Milkman via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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