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Comment on "More Chinese prefer late marriages" (China Daily, June 20)
Data on the age when Chinese people prefer to get married nowadays reflect many a social phenomenon. In China of the past, people married at a comparatively early age, the age was even lower in rural areas. But now people even in the countryside prefer getting married late.
The change in people's attitude toward marriage can be attributed to urbanization and population mobility apart from the improved education level and living standards. An increasing number of young people in rural areas are choosing to work in cities for the lure of higher income, which in turn forces them to postpone their marriage plans. Even in urban areas, youths are compelled to defer their marriage plans rather than choosing to do so.
With the rising education level, more and more youths are seeking higher education, including doctorates and post-doctorates. And it is difficult for them to get married while still pursuing their studies.
Besides, when they start working, they face the real pressure of marriage. In most cases, high housing prices, heavy pressure of work and severe all-round competition force them to postpone their marriage plans. Marriage is a personal choice and it's difficult to say whether it's good to marry early or late. But the survey shows how our society has changed over the years, which should draw the attention of social scientists and policymakers.
Ning Xin, via e-mail
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(China Daily 06/26/2013 page9)