The so-called "seven-year-itch" that doomed many marriages in the past may no longer hold true as more marriages are now dissolved before hitting the seven-year mark, a statistics agency official said yesterday.
An official from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said that nearly one-third of marriages dissolved last year had lasted for less than five years.
A total of 64,476 marriages were formally ended last year, up 2.9 percentage points from the 2005 level, DGBAS statistics showed. Of the total, 31.4 percent lasted for less than five years and 24.9 percent lasted between five and 10 years.
Figures from last year also showed that 53.7 percent of the nation's 18.73 million people aged 15 or over were married, compared with 34.4 percent who were unmarried. Divorced people accounted for 6.1 percent and widowed people made up 5.8 percent, the tallies showed.
The statistics also showed that 27.6 percent of males aged between 30 and 44 were not married, while 19.5 percent of women in the same age group were single. The percentages of unmarried men and women were up 1.7 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points from their 2005 levels respectively.
Meanwhile, 142,799 couples tied the knot last year. Of the women who married last year, 87.6 percent were first-time brides, 3.1 percent more than their male counterparts.
At the same time, 15.5 percent of men who tied the knot last year were remarried, while the ratio of women who married again was slightly lower at 12.4 percent.