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May 4, 2012

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Shanghai sees fewer marriages

SHANGHAI witnessed an 11.67 percent decrease in marriage number in the first four months of the year from the same period last year, the first drop since 2002, and the figure is expected to decline year on year until 2020.

A total of 41,282 couples tied the knot between January and April at the city's marriage registration offices, compared with more than 46,000 pairs a year earlier.

The number of those drawing their marriage certificates in the city this year is forecast at about 120,000, a decrease of 25,000 couples, or 17 percent, from last year, said Lin Kewu, deputy director of the marriage administration office of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

"An annual decrease is foreseen until 2020, because there is a gap of about 84,400 people born in the city in the first five years of the 1980's and the second half, and those born between 1986 and 1990 have now reached marriageable age," Lin said.

A marriage and baby boom emerged in the city in the early and mid-1980's, and 906,700 babies were born between 1981 and 1985, but the number gradually dropped to 822,300 between 1986 and 1990.

Meanwhile, 12,096 couples divorced in the four months, a slight decrease of 229 from the same period last year, but the divorce rate among young people is still high.

"With a rising number of flash marriages, more young couples are splitting," Lin said.

About 54 percent of divorces occurred among people below 40 years of age.

The ratio of local men marrying out-of-town women and local women marrying out-of-town men is about three to one.

Last year, Shanghai topped all cities on the Chinese mainland for wedding costs. A wedding banquet in Shanghai costs 3,360 yuan per table, while in Beijing and Hangzhou it was 2,200 yuan and 2,500 yuan, respectively, according to the Shanghai Wedding Trade Association.


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