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Marriage Rate Down While Divorces on Rise

The marriage numbers in China appear to be trending downward lately, while the divorce rate is increasing, according to Ministry of Civil Affairs statistics, eastday.com reported Monday.

The statistics indicate that more than 8.48 million couples got married last year, but more than 1.21 million couples broke up.

As a result of China’s family planning policy, China’s growth in population was under control, according to the ministry. Since the 1990s, the registered marriage rate has decreased. In 1990, 9.51 million couples got married, 9.34 million couples registered their marriage in 1995, while the number went down to 8.85 million by 1999.

Meanwhile, the divorce rate goes up. According to the statistics, 800,000 couples in China divorced in 1990, 1.05 million couples broke up in 1995, and the number rose to 1.2 million in 1999.

Chinese people have different ideas about marriage and family, and are becoming more open-minded, said Xiao Dengfeng, an officer with the Marriage Registration Management office. People pay more attention to the quality of married life, such as the equality of family members and the happiness of married life, said Xiao. Once a great gap exists between the reality and the expectations of marriage, most people would choose to divorce rather than make do with it, he added.

The most popular reasons why people got divorced are that their characters were not compatible with each other, said Xu Lu, a veteran expert in marriage and family. Society appears more considerate of divorced people, she said.

(eastday.com 04/23/2001)

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