Divorce rate rises by 7%: Ministry

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-05-25 07:07

More than 1.9 million couples got divorced in China in 2006, an increase of 128,000 couples or 7 percent on the previous year, a report by the Ministry of Civil Affairs has said.

Civil affairs bureaux across the country handled 1.29 million of the cases, with 622,000 couples untying the knot through the courts, the report said.

Five provinces - Liaoning, Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan and Sichuan - reported more than 100,000 divorce cases each in 2006.

The number of couples getting married also increased last year, with 9.45 million marriages registered nationwide, an increase of 1.2 million year on year, the report said.

Although divorce is traditionally discouraged in China, over the past 20 years the rate has soared. This is said to be due to women becoming more financially independent and divorce procedures being simplified.

Between 1985 and 1995, the rate more than doubled; by 2006 it had tripled.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs calculates the number of divorces in terms of cases per 1,000 people. Last year, that figure rose to 1.46 from 1.37 year on year, the Ministry said.

Chinese people can now get married or divorced much more easily, as employers do not have to be notified or asked to provide recommendations on the suitability of an employee's marriage plans.

China Daily-Xinhua

(China Daily 05/25/2007 page4)

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