Whether by choice or the result of circumstances, nearly 200 million adults in China are single, accounting for 14.6 percent of the population, according to data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
That’s a big jump from just 6 percent of the country’s total population in 1990, the Wall Street Journal said, citing local media reports.
Aside from the rising divorce rate, the trend has been traced to a growing number of Chinese who delay marriage or choose not to marry at all.
The situation could be traced to China’s decades-old one-child policy, which has resulted in gender imbalances.
The policy is now being revised in view of the country’s aging population and shrinking labor force, with the government allowing couples to have a second child.
Still, China’s percentage of single adults is quite low compared with some other countries.
In the United States, for example, 50.2 percent of the population is single, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In England and Wales, those who were unwed reached 51 percent as of 2011.
One factor favoring marriage in China is that older generations, being traditional and family-oriented, needle their adult children and grandchildren to get married.
Unwed women over the age of 27 are referred to as “leftover women”, adding to the social pressure for them to tie the knot.
But given China’s huge size, 14.6 percent already represents about two-thirds of the entire US population.
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