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More Chinese prefer to get married late

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, January 14, 2016
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An increasing number of people in cities now choose to get married later than previous generations. Our reporter talked to some young people in Shanghai and canvassed some opinions.

After dating his girlfriend for two years, 28-year-old Human Resource specialist Zhang Weijun just got married two months ago. His wife is one year younger than him. Zhang said that's the average age people around him are getting married. He thinks it is an appropriate time to establish a family.

"I think we both needed a good job and enough financial preparation to get married. Because getting married in Shanghai does cost a lot," Zhang said.

And Zhang's case is far from unique. In China, men over 25 years old, or women over 23 years old getting married is officially classified as 'late marriage'. A recent nationwide survey co-conducted by Peking University and an online matchmaking website shows that over 63 percent of men and 83 percent of women of first-tier cities are, by this definition, getting married late.

"In Shanghai, getting married as late as 30 years old is not unusual. Work pressure means that there is less time and opportunity for courting. Moreover, the high ratio of men to women also poses a problem," Qiu Xueying siad.

"I think getting married after 35 years old can be considered late marriage nowadays. Now many women have Masters or even higher degrees. When they graduate from school, they are already after 25 years old. And they will only consider marrying someone they have genuine feelings for; they will tend not just to listen to what their parents tell them to do. So it's quite normal," Chen Lu siad.

One expert says China's average marriage age is still behind that of some developed countries, and could even rise further in the next few years. She says that although late marriage helps people have more freedom and working time, it can also lead to society shouldering a heavier burden.

"For example, if most women choose to get married late and don't have much motivation to give birth, then the "Second Child Policy" will not be effective to help solve the aging problem, or shortages in the workforce. Moreover, many people choose to be single all their life after not getting married at a certain age and not having children. The country needs to take care of them financially in their older age," Associate prefessor Xue Yali with Shanghai Academy of Social Sceiences siad.

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs says by the end of 2015, there were nearly 200 million single people in China. Nearly 14 percent of population in China live by themselves, more than twice as many as in 1990.

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