Schematic diagram, the picture shows a couple in Wuhan taking wedding photos by the Yangtze River on June 30, 2006. (China Photos/Getty Images)
[The Epoch Times, November 21, 2023](Reported by Epoch Times reporters Huang Yun and Luo Ya) With older men and older women not marrying, the number of first marriages in China has dropped off a cliff, hitting a 38-year low. Regarding the serious marriage crisis in China, experts have analyzed that in addition to economic pressure, China’s fertility culture and family concepts have been destroyed by the CCP as an important reason.
The number of first marriages has plummeted, falling below 11 million for the first time
According to the “China Statistical Yearbook 2023” compiled and published by the National Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China, the number of first marriages in China will be 10.5176 million in 2022, a decrease of 1.0604 million from 2021 and a decrease of 9.16% from the previous year. This is also the first time that the number of first marriages has been lower. At 11 million people, a 38-year low.
The number of first marriages in China reached its peak in 2013, with a total of 23.8596 million people choosing first marriages throughout the year. Since then, the number of first marriages has declined year by year, falling by 55.9% in the past nine years.
Data from the “Yearbook 2023” show that the number of first marriages in 2013 was 23.8596 million; the number of first marriages in 2014 was 22.8681 million; the number of first marriages in 2015 was 21.0897 million; the number of first marriages in 2016 was 19.1326 million; The number of first marriages in 2018 was 15.9867 million; the number of first marriages in 2019 was 13.9871 million; the number of first marriages in 2020 was 12.286 million; the number of first marriages in 2021 was 11.578 million; The number of first marriages was 10.5176 million.
Regarding the halving of the number of first marriages, Li Hengqing, an economist based in the United States, told The Epoch Times that this is a global problem. Japan, South Korea, and some countries in Southeast Asia are all facing the same problem.
Li Hengqing said that another obvious reason in China is economic pressure. The issue of bride price and housing prices scare many young people away from getting married. However, these problems did not exist more than 20 years ago.
He said, “When we were young, we didn’t ask for betrothal gifts. They were very few, almost none. But now the requirements are very high. Nowadays, many people ask for any (sky-high) betrothal gifts at every turn.”
“The issue of bride price is a big issue now,” he said. “Everyone wants to say that I have raised children for so many years and I must get this money back.”
“Or if you have a son and a daughter at home, you have to use the daughter’s gift money to find a wife for your son. This is a big social problem.”
“The other thing is that if you live in a city, you must first have a house and a car.” Li Hengqing said, “If you get married without a house, you will have no roots, so he must buy a house. But now the economy is declining very much. It’s amazing. Nowadays, it’s very stressful to spend astronomical sums of money to buy a house, so many young people are discouraged (from getting married).”
The underlying reasons why young people don’t want to get married
It only took less than 10 years for the number of first marriages in China to fall off a cliff. One of the reasons is said to be the decrease in the number of people eligible for marriage. Currently, the post-95s and even post-00s are entering the stage of marriage and childbirth. The post-95s and post-00s generation are the only children born under the Chinese Communist Party’s compulsory family planning policy.
The “2022 Statistical Bulletin on the Development of Civil Affairs” shows that in 2022, among China’s registered marriage population, people aged 20 to 24 accounted for only 15.2%, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points from the previous year. The proportion of marriages among 20-24-year-olds in total marriages has dropped from 47% in 2005 to 26% in 2015 and 15% in 2022.
At the same time, in 1980, in order to implement the one-child policy, the Chinese Communist Party postponed the legal minimum age for marriage to 22 for boys and 20 for girls, and encouraged late marriage (25 for boys and 23 for girls) and later childbearing. At present, the legal age for marriage in various countries around the world is generally between 16 and 18 years old.
China’s census data shows that the age of marriage, especially the age of first marriage, has been significantly delayed in China. The average age of first marriage in 2020 is 28.67 years old, an increase of 3.78 years from the average age of first marriage in 2010 (24.89 years old).
Wang He, an expert on China issues, told The Epoch Times that the underlying reason why young people don’t want to get married is the CCP’s destructive “family planning” policy.
“First, why is the population of marriageable age so small now? It is because the CCP enforces one-child family planning, which destroys the natural ecological balance and natural structure of China’s population.” He said, “This is the reason why the current population of marriageable age is small. The population is very small compared to history.”
Wang He said, “What is the second consequence? It is the gender imbalance between men and women.”
“Because of family planning, in many processes, due to traditional factors, girls were drowned or aborted, (resulting in) tens of millions more men than women.”
“The third reason is that China’s current fertility culture and the entire concept of family have been destroyed.” Wang He said, “Traditionally, home is a person’s last resort and a person’s last harbor.” But the current problem in China is that the traditional family culture has been destroyed. Now it has become a nuclear and atomized family. The relationship between people, the daily bonds between parents and children are all very weak. .”
“Due to some abnormal orientations in society, many people are actually anti-marriage. They can indulge themselves, but they just don’t get married. These are social chaos, and it means that traditional family values have been completely destroyed by the CCP over the years. .”
He said, “This society’s traditional values are disintegrating, and social families are disintegrating. This is a terrible thing. Of course, economic factors also play a role, but this is not the main thing. The main thing is that people’s ideas have changed and degenerated.”
Mainland media also admitted that young people’s views on marriage have changed, and many people no longer regard marriage and childbirth as a required course in life.
Expert: Not being able to raise children is actually an excuse
China’s marriage rate dropped from 9.9‰ in 2013 to 4.8‰ in 2022. The number of first marriages in China has been below 11 million in 2022, and it is doubtful whether it can maintain the 10 million mark in 2023. The number of first marriages directly affects the birth rate.
The 2020 census shows that 55% of children are born to women under the age of 30, and 86% of children are born to women under the age of 35. However, the number of marriages among 20- to 24-year-olds in 2022 is only 25% of that in 2011, and the number of marriages among 25- to 29-year-olds is only 50% of that in 2014.
The “China Statistical Yearbook 2023” shows that in 2022, the natural population growth rate of 20 provinces will be negative, an increase of 7 from the previous year. Among them, Jiangsu, the most populous province, will have negative population growth in 2021, with a natural population growth rate of -1.1‰.
The “China Marriage and Family Report 2022 Edition” believes that the cost of raising children is high and the pressure of unemployment is high. If there is no stable source of economic income, the willingness to get married and have children will naturally decrease.
Wang He believes that the current competitive pressure and the fact that people cannot afford to raise children are actually excuses. “Weren’t Chinese people poor in the 1950s and 1960s? They were much poorer in the past than they are now. Why didn’t poverty affect them at that time?” What about childbirth? Doesn’t it affect people’s marriage?”
“There are many bad habits in Chinese marriages, such as betrothal gifts and men buying cars and houses. What is the core? Marriage has changed from a relationship and a family combination in the past to a transaction and an exchange of money.”
He said, “The Chinese Communist Party has destroyed traditional values. China used to be called ‘benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom, trust,’ but now it is money-oriented and everything is about money. In this upside-down and chaotic social culture, (traditional values) cannot be respected , but were ridiculed and ridiculed, leading many women to regard marriage as a springboard for life.”
Editor in charge: Sun Yun