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Urban people say "I do" ever later in life
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The average age for first marriages has risen to 28.2 years for men and 26.1 for women in Beijing, both about two years older than a decade ago, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Those aren't even the nation's oldest newlyweds. The average age for first marriages in Shanghai was 31.1 for males and 28.4 for females in 2006, said CASS.

The Academy's annual "blue book" of analyses and forecasts for Chinese social statistics for 2008, issued on Thursday, said that the average age for first marriages in Shanghai was the oldest ever in China.

The yearbook reviewed the average ages of newlyweds in Beijing since 1900. CASS found that the average age for first marriages in Beijing was 19.17 for men at the beginning of the 20th century, rising to 25.87 by the end of the millennium. For women, the respective figures were 18.28 and 24.17 years.

And while Beijingers may take their time getting married, many quickly call it quits. One-third of the 24,952 divorced couples in Beijing in 2006 had been wed for only three years. The marriages of 52 couples had lasted less than one month, according to statistics from the municipal bureau of civil affairs.

(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2008)


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