Southwest is now divorce capital of China

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Southwest is now divorce capital of China

Southwest is now divorce capital of China

China's divorce rate is rising dramatically as more marriages fail under the pressures of migrant work and family separation.

There were 465,357 couples in China who filed for divorce in the first quarter of this year, up by 17.26 percent compared with last year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Southwest China's Sichuan Province ranks the highest with 38,228 divorced couples, and Shandong ranks second in the divorced population with 29,367 couples ending their marriages, the Beijing Times reported on Thursday.

The increased divorced population in Sichuan and Shandong is mainly due to the migration of workers, said Shu Xin, director of the China Marriage and Family Consulting Research Center, a social group affiliated with the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

"Sichuan has always been a province where migrant workers spread out to other places in China, and Shandong exports huge numbers of workers to places like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong," Shu told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Thus, the couples have to face the pressure of separation and their feelings are often neglected, leading to a growing number of people having affairs," Shu said.

More developed regions have seen a fairly low increase in the divorce rate.

First-quarter statistics for Guangdong, Shanghai and Beijing show that the divorce population has increased by 15.4 percent, 8.5 percent and 8.2 percent respectively compared to the same period in 2010, according to the ministry's data.

"The high increase in divorce is a direct result of economic growth," Shu said.

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