Marriage registrations in China have hit a record low, new data from the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs shows. Just 6.8 million marriages were recorded in 2022, the lowest since record keeping began in 1983.
It marks a 49% drop from 2013, the year with the highest number of marriage registrations.
A demographer cited by Chinese state-affiliated media outlet the Global Times suggests that the declining number of marriages could come down to an aging population, as well as a gender imbalance in the country. As of 2020, there are 17.52 million more men than women between the ages of 20 and 40 in China.
Meanwhile, the average marriage age in the country is climbing: As of 2020, men in China typically record their first marriage at age 29, compared to 25 in 2010, The Global Times said.
The declining marriage rate in China comes as the country’s birth rate is falling. Fewer than 10 million births were recorded in China last year, the lowest in decades.
In a move to encourage unmarried couples and single women to have more babies, Sichuan province removed a protocol which required that couples be married in order to register new births.