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January 26, 2011

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People choose to marry later in life

The age at which people in Shanghai choose to marry has continued to rise in recent years. The city's annual marriage situation report showed that locals' average marriage age was 32.45 for men and 29.77 for women last year, 0.4 years older than that of 2009.
The Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said local people have tended to tie the knot later in recent years. In 2007, local men got married at the age of 32 and women at 29.
"Although the rise was not impressive, it is a trend that people get married later and later," said Zhou Jixiang, director of the bureau's marriage management division. "People now seem to need more time to cultivate their feelings toward each other and prepare more for a new life."
Zhou said that Shanghai people seem to be among the latest to get married on the Chinese mainland.
In China, the legal marriage age is 22 for men and 20 for women. If men get married after the age of 25 and women after 23, they can enjoy seven more days wedding leave.
Young people, men especially, said they have too much to do to prepare for marriage, and when they are ready, they are no longer young.
"Our parents expect us to buy an apartment, and a car if necessary," said 29-year-old Yao Jing, a white collar worker. "Every month I earn about 7,000 yuan (US$1,000), and an apartment would cost us millions of yuan. I have no plans for getting married, because I don't think I could give a wife and child a -prosperous life."
Meanwhile, some women said it is hard to find a satisfactory husband. "I want him to have good job prospects as well as a good life sentiment, but it's difficult to get both," said 27-year-old Ye Hong, a college teacher.
Last year more than 126,290 couples tied the knot in Shanghai, down by about 14 percent from 2009.
Divorce rates also dropped last year. About 37,330 couples broke up last year, down by approximately 3.7 percent from 2009.


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