Monday, February 7, 2011

China saw more people divorce than marry in 2010

BEIJING, Monday

Nearly two million couples divorced in 2010 in China — far more than the number who got married in the world’s most populous nation, state media reported.

A total of 1.96 million couples applied for divorce last year, and only 1.2 million tied the knot, the Legal Evening News quoted the civil affairs ministry as saying.

China’s divorce rate has risen gradually at an average of 7.65 per cent a year since 2003 when the law regulating marriage was amended, simplifying both marriage and divorce procedures, said the report published yesterday.

Before, in many areas of China, couples who wanted to divorce had to get a written certificate from their workplaces or neighbourhood committees before the split could be finalised, it added.

Some lawmakers in China — shocked at the country’s high divorce rate — have called for a return to those practices, but so far the amendment has remained untouched.

Also contributing to higher divorce rates is the fact that Chinese men and women have more money and are more independent, the report said.

The southwestern province of Sichuan had the highest divorce rate last year, which the report attributed partly to a high concentration of people working away from home, leading to couples being separated for long periods of time. (AFP)