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January 14, 2012

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Brides waiting a little longer before tying the knot

WHILE the age of Shanghai bridegrooms dipped a fraction in 2011 compared to 2010, brides were tying the knot slightly later than in the previous year.

According to the latest report by the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, last year, the average age of men marrying was 32.4 years old - about 0.04 years younger than that in 2010.

This dip follows several years in which the average age of bridegrooms increased.

And in 2011, the average Shanghai bride was 29.9 years old, 0.1 years older than in the previous year.

Officials said women with a high education background and salary seem to have trouble finding Mr Right as they want a similar man, narrowing options.

And while Shanghai men are happy to marry women from out of town, many Shanghai women restrict their choice to local men, narrowing their options further.

According to the report, "transprovincial" marriages increased dramatically last year.

About one third of the Shanghai people marrying wed a partner from out of town - up 12 percent on 2010.

More than 70 percent of those Shanghai natives finding partners from outside the city were men.

Women said marrying an out-of-towner would be frowned upon by their family. "My mother is afraid that I will leave her for somewhere else," said 28-year-old Barbara Li. "So every man she tries to introduce me to is from Shanghai."

The number of people finding overseas partners fell. Some 2,225 Shanghai people married people from 70 countries and regions, down 0.5 percent on 2010.

And officials said while the number of divorces rose 4 percent last year, new marriage counselling services were helping couples.

Last year, 145,870 couples tied the knot in Shanghai - up 15 percent on 2010.

Officials said this peak will continue for a couple of years as many of those born in the 1980s baby boom tie the knot.


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