Date
18 July 2018
In 2016, the ratio of Hong Kong women marrying mainland men has jumped to 33 percent, or 7,626 out of the 22,926 cross-border marriages for that year, data from a government report showed. Photo: Reuters
In 2016, the ratio of Hong Kong women marrying mainland men has jumped to 33 percent, or 7,626 out of the 22,926 cross-border marriages for that year, data from a government report showed. Photo: Reuters

Marriages between HK women, mainland men jump over past 30 years

A growing number of Hong Kong women have chosen to marry mainland men over the past three decades, a government report shows.

In 1986, there were 675 such marriages, accounting for only 4 percent of the cross-border marital ties that year, according to the “Demographic Trends in Hong Kong 1986-2016” report from the Census and Statistics Department.

In 2016, however, the ratio jumped to 33 percent, or 7,626 out of the 22,926 marriages between Hong Kong and the mainland residents, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing the government data.

Gender imbalance in Hong Kong was seen as one of the factors that led to the rising trend.

The department’s demographic statistics also showed that a total of 180,000 males in their 30s had never been married in 2016, more than the corresponding figure – 157,000 – for females.

But for those in their 40s, the numbers were 86,100 and 93,000, respectively, suggesting it was harder for older women to enter into marital ties with local men.

Meanwhile, delays in getting married have also become more apparent. In 2016, the median age for first marriage was 31.4 for men and 29.4 for women, compared with 28.0 and 25.3, respectively, in 1986.

Another trend in marriage, as shown in the government report, is that a growing number of brides are older than their spouses.

In 1986, 12.9 percent of the brides were one to four years older than their partners, compared with 17.6 percent in 2016. With regard to brides who were at least five years older than their spouses, the ratio rose from 1.6 to 3.2 percent during the period.

As for divorce decrees granted, the number more than quadrupled from 4,257 in 1986 to 17,196 in 2016.

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