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Beijing: 170,000 Couples Married in 2006
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More than 170,000 couples married in Beijing in 2006, up 77% over 2005, a year witnessing the most weddings in the past 25 years.

Beijing Evening News reports the Beijing administrative office of marriage says the annual number of weddings totaled only 70,000 to 120,000 in the past five years.

The wedding peak in 1981, in which year more than 200,000 couples married, ushered in the birth peak in the 1980s. The generation born in the 1980s is now reaching legal age for marriage in recent years.    

Beijing also attracts talents into the high-tech industry and college graduates from other provinces and cities, who add to pool of marriageable youth.

In 2001, about 28% of marriages were combinations of local residents and citizens from other provinces. That number rose to 40% in 2006.

Remarriages have also increased. About 20,000 couples divorced and returned to being single in 2006.

An official with the Beijing administrative office of marriage told a journalist at Beijing Evening News that couples prefer auspicious days in traditional Chinese culture for their wedding days. The administrative office always sees the busiest times on such days. On an auspicious day in last December, about 4,400 couples registered marriage in the office.

The year of 2006 was thought to be a good year for wedding and 2007 good for having children. Some even pushed their weddings forward to marry in 2006.    

(CRI February 13, 2007)

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