Worldwide Marriage Rates Decline: Factors Deterring Youth

Youngsters fear divorce and family planning, causing marriage delays. (Photo via

Among major countries, the 2020 Marriage Rates (per 1,000 population) depict China (5.8‰), Malaysia (5.7‰), Singapore (5.2‰), Taiwan (5.2‰), and the United States (5.1‰) as the top performers, while Japan ranks eighth with just 4.2%.

New York, NY (ADH News) – In this era of rapid change, traditional values and social expectations are evolving swiftly, influencing the perceptions of many young individuals regarding marriage. Recent surveys indicate that an increasing number of young people are no longer eager to get married but prefer to pursue personal development and a life of freedom. What exactly is causing them to lose interest in marriage?

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare released marriage data for 2023 at the end of February. Excluding foreign couples, the number of marriages in Japan dropped by 5.8% from the previous year, with only 476,000 couples getting married. This marks the first time in 90 years that the number of marriages has fallen below 500,000, representing a significant decrease of approximately 200,000 compared to a decade ago.

However, Japan is not alone in facing declining marriage rates; this phenomenon is more pronounced in affluent countries. According to statistics from Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior on “2020 Marriage Rates (per 1,000 population)” in major countries, the top five countries with the highest rates are China (5.8‰), Malaysia (5.7‰), Singapore (5.2‰), Taiwan (5.2‰), and the United States (5.1‰), with Japan ranking eighth at only 4.2%.

Although the United States ranks fourth globally in marriage rates, it has been declining year by year. According to the latest statistics from the Census Bureau in 2022, over one-third of individuals aged 15 and above have never been married, a significant increase from about one-quarter in 1950.

Economic pressure is the primary reason why young people are disinterested in marriage. With the continuous rise in housing and living costs, many young people need help to afford the expenses associated with marriage. The changing social values have also influenced young people’s perceptions of marriage. Unlike in the past, young people prioritize personal freedom and independence. They want more autonomy in their careers and lives, viewing marriage as a symbol of constraint and responsibility. Consequently, many prefer to delay marriage to pursue personal goals and lifestyles.

Furthermore, the changing concept of marriage is also related to societal and cultural transformations. With the advancement of women’s status and the strengthening of gender equality awareness, many young people’s attitudes towards marriage have changed. They prioritize equality and mutual respect in relationships, seeking to establish long-term stable relationships with like-minded partners rather than simply adhering to traditional marriage patterns.

Although marriage remains a goal for many, people’s views on marriage evolve as society changes. The decline in marriage rates indicates that young people are rethinking the meaning and value of marriage, believing that marriage should be based on mutual happiness, shared goals, and personal growth rather than simply adhering to social pressures or traditional norms. Consequently, they approach marriage decisions more cautiously.

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