Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Marriages down, foreign spouses up


There were a total of 173,000 weddings in this country last year, with nearly 30 percent of the brides hailing from China or Southeast Asian countries, the interior mministry said yesterday.

The latest ministry tallies show that 173,000 couples tied the knot last year, down 0.2 percent from the year-earlier level, representing a marriage rate of about 0.77 percent. Last year's marriage rate was about 0.005 percentage points lower than that posted in 2002.

The number of newlyweds from abroad, however, increased during the same period, with the number foreign-national bride-grooms (including those from Hong Kong, Macau and China) increasing by 1,448, and the number of brides (including those from Hong Kong, Macau and China) growing by 3,557 over the previous year, according to the statistics.

Last year 3.4 percent of the bridegrooms were foreign or Chinese nationals, while 28 percent of the brides were. Of the latter group, nearly 65 percent were Chinese citizens and nearly 35 percent were nationals from Southeast Asia. The average age of the bridegrooms last year was 33.8 years old, compared with 28.4 years old for the brides. A breakdown of the brides' ages show that Taiwanese brides' average age was 28.3, compared with 31.3 for Chinese brides and 23.6 for Southeast Asian brides.

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