Data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics shows that since 2013, more than 41% of Chinese millennials are postponing marriage, with the decline partly due to previous population growth policies.

In recent years, China held a “one-child policy”, which was revised to a two-child limit in 2015 in order “to promote a balanced growth of population and improve its strategy on population development,” according to Xinhua local news agency.

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However, that’s only part of the reason millennials are taking a step back from the altar. Officials and sociologists suggest it is also due to a change in attitudes to marriage among young women.

“I felt like 30 years old was such an important threshold. When it loomed closer, I came under tremendous pressure to find the right person to marry, both from my parents and myself,” Joanne Su told CNN.

“What’s the point of making do with someone you don’t like, and then divorcing in a couple of years? It’s only a waste of time,” she said.

Across the world, marriage rates have steadily declined over the past few years, more so in the West but also in other East and South-east Asian countries.

In 2020, CGTN reported research done by a team at the University of Tokyo that showed that the number of young Japanese people who are not married has been rising for the past 20 years, with the proportion of single women increasing by 1.5 times.

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It added that although young people have the desire to marry, social and economic pressures are making it difficult.

“Women now want to pursue self-development and a career for themselves before they get married,” sociologist at the National University of Singapore Wei-Jun Jean Yeung said.

“Women gained economic independence, so marriage is no longer a necessity for women as it was in the past,” said Yeung.


In 2021, China has a surplus of more than 30 million men, and with young women becoming more independent and educated, it makes things more challenging for men who are looking to find a bride.