The following is the China marriage report 2021 recommended by recordtrend.com. And this article belongs to the classification: Life data.
Marriage is a basic part of the family. For individuals, marriage is the distillation of emotion, and family is a real sense of belonging. For society, a long-term harmonious marriage and family relationship is conducive to social stability.
But in recent years, with a variety of choices and helplessness, Chinese people get married less, get married late and divorce more. With the development of society, on the one hand, a new generation of young people pursue independence and freedom, and believe that marriage is a bondage. On the other hand, the high cost of marriage and childbirth makes it more difficult for young people to realize their families. From the perspective of population, the aging problem of small children is reducing the number of people of marriageable age, and the “main force” of marriage is decreasing. “If you don’t want to get married, what else do you want to have?” is becoming the choice of a group of young people. The decline of marriage rate, fertility rate and aging are mutually causal.
This paper focuses on the analysis of the status quo of Chinese marriage, causes and effects, and puts forward some suggestions.
Marriage status in China
Less marriage, more divorce and late marriage
With the development of economy, great changes have taken place in China’s marital status, mainly reflected in the declining marriage rate, rising divorce rate and delaying the age of first marriage. Specifically,
First, the number of marriages and the marriage rate have declined since 2013. From 2013 to 2020, the number of marriage registration pairs in China will continue to decline from the historical high of 13.47 million pairs to 8.13 million pairs, with a year-on-year decrease of 12.2% in 2020. In 2013-2019, the crude marriage rate will drop from 9.9 ‰ to 6.6 ‰. Among them, the number of newly married couples decreased from 23.86 million to 13.987 million, the number of remarried couples increased from 3.079 million to 4.559 million, and the number of remarried couples increased from 299000 to 619000.
Second, the phenomenon of “late marriage” is prominent; 25-29 years old people replace 20-24 years old people to become the new “main force” of marriage, and the proportion of marriage registration in high age group (above 40 years old) has increased significantly. From 2005 to 2019, the proportion of marriage registrations (including remarriage) aged 20-24 decreased from 47.0% to 19.7%, the proportion of marriage registrations aged 25-29 increased from 34.3% to 34.6%, and the proportion of marriage registrations aged 30-34, 35-39 and over 40 increased from 9.9%, 4.9%, 3.9% to 17.7%, 8.1% and 19.9%, respectively.
Third, the number of divorces and the divorce rate continued to rise for a long time. From 1987 to 2020, the number of divorce registration pairs in China will rise from 580000 to 3.73 million. From 1987 to 2019, the crude divorce rate rose from 0.5 ‰ to 3.4 ‰.
1.2 the more developed the economy is, the more obvious the decline of marriage rate is
Since 2013, the marriage rate has declined in most parts of China. However, there are differences between regions, which are negatively correlated with GDP, and also disturbed by population mobility, aging and other factors. Specifically,
First, the marriage rate is generally low in the eastern coastal areas and other economically developed areas. In 2019, the marriage rates of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin are the lowest in China; among them, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Shandong rank in the top three, with 4.1 ‰, 5.0 ‰ and 5.3 ‰ respectively. In addition, Beijing’s marriage rate is 6.0 ‰, ranking eighth from the bottom in China, lower than the national average of 6.6 ‰.
Second, the marriage rate is generally high in western underdeveloped areas. In 2019, the marriage rates of Guizhou, Qinghai, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan ranked top in the country, exceeding the national average; among them, Guizhou, Qinghai and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region ranked top three, with 9.9 ‰, 9.6 ‰ and 8.8 ‰ respectively.
Third, it is affected by population mobility and aging. China’s “deep aging” provinces are Liaoning, Shanghai, Shandong, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Chongqing, Zhejiang and Anhui. In provinces with serious aging, the population of marriageable age is relatively low. If there is a long-term outflow of population, the decline of marriage rate will be more obvious. The marriage rates in Shandong and Liaoning are 5.3 ‰ and 5.9 ‰ respectively, ranking third and seventh from the bottom in China; the number of marriages in Shandong will drop by nearly 40% from 2013 to 2019. In the aging provinces with population inflow, the “main force” of marriage is relatively high; the marriage rates of Sichuan, Chongqing and Anhui are 7.3 ‰, 7.6 ‰ and 8.5 ‰ respectively.
Fourth, the level of economic development and population mobility will also affect the divorce rate. In areas with weak economic development and serious population outflow, the divorce rate is relatively high. The long-term separation of husband and wife is an important reason for divorce. The divorce rates in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning are 4.5 ‰, 4.5 ‰ and 3.6 ‰ respectively.
Choice or helplessness?
2.1 self choice: highly educated, independent and socially inclusive
The number of students with bachelor’s degree or above is rising, and the number of years of education is increasing, which leads to the “first marriage delay effect”. According to the National Bureau of statistics, during 2015-2019, the number of doctoral students increased from 326700 to 424200, the number of master students increased from 1584700 to 2439500, and the proportion of master’s degree and doctor’s degree increased from 10.81% to 14.06%. The increase of education time and the extension of educational years delay the average age of employment, and then delay the average age of marriage. The average number of years of education for the population aged 15 and above increased from 5.3 years in 1982 to 9.6 years in 2017, the average age of first marriage for women increased from 22.0 years in 1990 to 25.4 years in 2016, and that for men increased from 24.1 years to 27.2 years in the same period.
The new generation of young people pursue independence, freedom and high quality of life, and hold an open attitude towards marriage, especially the realization of women’s self independence and the awakening of self-consciousness. Economic development and the improvement of education level have provided women with more employment opportunities and increased their social status. Women are no longer just “Housewives”, but enter the workplace to realize their life value. From 1998 to 2017, the proportion of female students increased from 38.3% to 52.2%, and women began to dominate the higher education group. Highly educated women tend to prefer men with their own conditions, which makes it more difficult to match the marriage market, and the scale of single women increases rapidly. From 2000 to 2015, the number of unmarried women aged 30 and above rose from 1.54 million to 5.9 million in China. In 2015, the proportion of unmarried women aged 30 and above with graduate degree was as high as 11%, far higher than 5% of unmarried women with bachelor degree or below.
With the increase of open mind and social inclusiveness, divorce is no longer a topic of “pale talk”. Economic independence makes women gradually get rid of the shackles of marriage, and have the courage to bear the adverse consequences of divorce. In 2015-2018, nearly 6 million cases of divorce disputes in the first instance were concluded. According to the judicial big data report, more than 1.4 million cases were adjudicated by courts nationwide in 2017. The number of divorce disputes increased, mainly due to emotional discord (77.5%) and domestic violence (14.9%). Among them, 73.40% of the plaintiffs were women, and 2-7 years after marriage was the high incidence period of marriage rupture. 91.09% of the cases in which only one spouse wishes to divorce.
2.2 helpless: social pressure, marriage and childbirth cost
Under the traditional Chinese concept, marriage means a series of problems, such as betrothal gifts before marriage, real estate, mortgage repayment after marriage, childbirth and so on. However, the current high housing prices and high education expenditure lead to young people’s deterrence from marriage, especially in big cities.
With the rapid rise of housing prices, young people are facing the dual pressure of “buying a wedding house” and “paying off the mortgage”. Since the housing reform in 1998, the overall price of housing has maintained a sharp rise, which has brought great pressure on families to raise their children and buy houses for their children. From 1998 to 2018, the average price of new commercial housing in China rose from 1854 yuan / flat to 8544 yuan. From 2004 to 2018, the balance of individual house purchase loans in China increased from 1.6 trillion yuan to 25.8 trillion yuan, an increase of 16.1 times, accounting for more than 50% of the balance of residents’ loans, up from 54% in 2018. The ratio of housing loan income (balance of individual house purchase loan / disposable income) increased from 16.2% to 47.6%, and the ratio of household debt income (balance of household debt / disposable income) increased from 28.6% to 88.4%. In reality, there are many residents through consumer loans, credit loans and other forms of housing funds, the actual housing loan income ratio may be higher.
The cost of education has increased significantly, “teachers reduce the burden, parents increase the burden”, and the pressure of transportation and parenting has increased, resulting in parents bearing the triple burden of time, energy and financial resources. The cost of education mainly includes the tuition and miscellaneous expenses of kindergarten, the tuition and living expenses of kindergarten, primary school and high school, etc. According to the sampling statistics of sina education’s “2017 white paper on China’s family education consumption”, the expenditure on pre-school education accounts for 26% of the family’s annual income, 21% for compulsory education and high school education, and 29% for university education. The supply of public kindergartens has dropped sharply, and many families are forced to choose expensive private kindergartens. From 2001 to 2019, the proportion of public kindergartens in China will drop from 60.1% to 38.4%, and the proportion of public kindergartens in China will drop from 83.1% to 43.8%. In addition, at present, the parents of dual workers are facing the problem of picking up and sending their children from primary and secondary schools; many places even require parents to correct students’ homework and explain the wrong questions, “homework has evolved into parents’ homework”.
2.3 behind marriage are population problems: lower birth rate and unbalanced sex ratio
In the 1970s and 1980s, the family planning policy brought about two problems: one is the decline of birth rate, the other is the imbalance of sex ratio at birth.
The decline in the birth rate has a long-term impact on the number of people of marriageable age, leading to a decline in the number of married couples. According to China’s 2010 population census, the population of the post-80s, post-90s and post-00s are 219 million, 188 million and 147 million respectively. The post-90s are about 31 million less than the post-80s and the post-00s are 41 million less than the post-90s. At present, the main marriage age is 25-29 years old (after 90), which has a negative impact on the number of marriage. According to the calculation formula of the marriage rate, the marriage rate = the number of couples married in a certain year / the average total population in a certain year × 1000 ‰, and the molecular decline affects the decline of the marriage rate.
In the next ten years, the main force of marriage will continue to decrease, or the marriage rate will continue to decline. At the end of 2015, the central government decided to fully liberalize the two child policy. In 2016, the number of children born rose to 17.86 million, but in 2017, it dropped to 17.25 million, which continued to decline, reaching 14.65 million in 2019. From 1979 to 2019, the birth rate will drop from 17.8 ‰ to 10.5 ‰. Under the background of long-term low fertility rate, the proportion and size of working age population aged 15-64 in China peaked in 2010 and 2013 respectively, and the main married population peaked.
Since the birth control, the ratio of men to women has been seriously unbalanced, which makes it difficult to match the marriage market, and then affects the number of married couples. The sex ratio at birth in 1982 (male: female, female = 100) was 107.6, which exceeded 110 in 1990, nearly 118 in 2000, and then exceeded 120 in the long run. According to the 2010 census data, the sex ratio of post-90s is 119, nearly 13 million more men than women; the sex ratio of post-90s is 110, nearly 9 million more men than women.
3. Look at the marriage situation in China objectively
3.1 positive effect: promoting the rise of single economy
According to the Ministry of civil affairs, in 2018, China’s single adult population reached 240 million, about the total population of Britain, France and Germany. More than 77 million of them live alone, and the number is expected to rise to 92 million by 2021.
Single people generally have low savings and pursue high-quality, high-quality and high consumption life, which promotes new consumption mode, cultural entertainment and pet consumption. Single people have a preference for convenience consumption; according to Nielsen’s China single economic report, 42% of single consumers consume for their own pleasure, which is much higher than that of non single consumers (27%); 97% of single consumers choose online shopping, and 62% prefer to order takeout. In addition, single people are young and highly educated, and pay attention to self investment. As for the time planning for the next year, “22% of single consumers hope to study, 18% hope to learn new skills, and 17% hope to cultivate their own interests, which are higher than 13%, 11% and 14% of non single consumers. At the same time, 16% and 14% of single consumers are more willing to spend more money on self-improvement and fitness in the next year. Nielsen data shows that single people pay more attention to emotional sustenance and are more willing to spend on meals and entertainment than non single people; in addition, the proportion of pet consumption of single youth is higher than that of non single consumers, and the proportion of unmarried people is 57%. According to the report of the white paper on China’s pet industry, in 2019, China’s urban pet dog and cat consumption market will reach 202.4 billion yuan, an increase of 18.5% over last year, and the consumption scale in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Chengdu will reach 48.6 billion yuan.
3.2 ﹣ negative effects: reduce the birth rate and increase the burden of providing for the aged
At the same time of late marriage, the phenomenon of late childbearing is becoming more and more prominent. Every month when the age of first childbearing is delayed, the total fertility rate will drop by about 8%. From 1990 to 2015, the average age of first childbearing for women was postponed from 24.1 to 26.3, and the average childbearing age (all children) was postponed from 24.8 to 28.0. In 1990, the main childbearing age and the main childbearing age were 20-27 years old, with 86.6% and 74.9% having one child and children respectively. By 2015, the primary childbearing age was postponed to 22-29 years old, and the proportion of having one child dropped to 66.7%; the primary childbearing age was postponed to 23-30 years old, and the proportion of having children dropped to 59.1%. In addition, from 1990 to 2015, the proportion of one child born to elderly women over 30 years old increased from 4.2% to nearly 19.2%, and the proportion of children born increased from 14.0% to 32.3%.
The problems of late marriage, late childbearing and non marriage aggravate the burden of providing for the aged in China, seriously drag down the national finance and restrict the economic vitality. China will gradually become one of the countries with the heaviest pension burden in the world; from the perspective of the basic pension insurance fund for urban employees, the arithmetic average growth rate of China’s fund income from 2015 to 2019 is about 14.5%, the arithmetic average growth rate of expenditure is about 17.2%, and the pension dependency ratio (number of employees / retirees) drops to 2.53. Since the peak in 2012, the payment time of accumulated balance has been declining year by year, from 18.5 months to 13.4 months in 2019. The regional difference of urban employees’ basic endowment insurance fund is relatively large. In 2019, there are 16 provinces whose pension can not make ends meet; Heilongjiang, Qinghai, Liaoning, Jilin and Inner Mongolia are still lower than the warning line of payment months stipulated by the central adjustment system. Among them, Heilongjiang endowment insurance fund continued to “make ends meet” since 2013, and the accumulated balance turned negative in 2016, with a gap of 43.37 billion yuan in 2019.
4. Policy suggestions
While giving young people the right of free choice, we should reduce the phenomenon of non marriage and late marriage caused by the inability to marry and have children, provide security and social welfare for the people who are suitable for marriage, and improve housing, education and medical care. Behind marriage is the population problem, so we should fully open up childbearing, which will help to expand the population of suitable age for marriage in the long run.
4.1 relieve the living pressure of young people in terms of housing, employment and education
First, we should adhere to the orientation of “no speculation in housing and housing”, improve the linkage between new people and land with the increase of permanent resident population as the core, build a long-term mechanism for the healthy development of the real estate market, improve the housing market system and housing security system, and let all people live.
Second, further improve the protection of women’s employment rights and interests. On the one hand, we should further promote the implementation of maternity leave, lactation leave and other systems, properly solve the treatment guarantee of extended maternity leave and paternity leave for men, and impose economic or administrative penalties on units that damage women’s employment rights and interests. On the other hand, according to the size of female employees and the annual fertility situation, a certain degree of tax incentives should be implemented to reduce the fertility costs borne by enterprises. We should speed up the construction of a reasonable and effective sharing mechanism of childbearing costs among the state, enterprises and families.
The third is to increase financial expenditure on education. To explore the establishment of a comprehensive encouraging fertility system from pregnancy health care to pregnancy delivery to the end of 18-year-old or academic education, including pregnancy health care subsidies, hospital delivery subsidies, child care subsidies, education subsidies, family tax deduction, and direct economic subsidies for low-income people who do not meet the income tax standards. Moreover, according to the actual situation, different regions can further differentiate on the basis of national policies.
Fourth, the supply of nursery services and the guarantee of subsidies. We will extend the nine-year compulsory education to 12 years, promote education reform, and effectively eradicate the phenomenon of “homework becoming parents’ homework”. At the same time, we should increase the enthusiasm of grandparents to take care of their children and reduce the pressure of parents.
4.2 ﹣ we should immediately fully liberalize childbearing and let the right to bear return to the family
“Immediately” is due to the urgent population situation, which is currently in the birth window period of the third wave of baby boomers. The peak of the third round of baby boom in China was in 1987. The population born in the middle and later period was still in the main childbearing age before 35 years old, especially the population born after 1990 was still in the best childbearing age of 25-29 years old. Once we miss the third round of baby boom, we will get twice the result with half the effort if we want to increase the birth population in the future.
With the full liberalization of child-bearing, people who did not want to have children will still not have children. However, some people who want to have three children can have children, so they do not have to worry that some people and some areas will have a large number of children, leading to a sharp increase in the number of births. This kind of worry is just like some people predicted that after the implementation of the “comprehensive two-child” policy, the birth population will usher in a surge, but it is not the case. According to the statistics of the National Bureau of statistics, the total fertility rates of China’s rural areas in 2010 and 2015 were 1.44 and 1.27 respectively, and the total fertility rates of one child, two children, three children and above in 2015 were 0.61, 0.53 and 0.13 respectively. This means that rural residents are not willing to have children, and 60% of them are willing to have two children, let alone three.
It is suggested that the three child policy should be liberalized first, and the reform should be gradual, so as to ease the worries of conservative population fertility explosion. In short, it should not be delayed for a long time.
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