The number of marriages increased last year compared with the previous year, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday, though the number is still lower than in 2010 and 2011.
The ministry attributed last year’s growth to government policies encouraging marriage as it attempts to boost childbirth rates.
“Official statistics show that the marriage rate dipped several years ago to its lowest recorded level at 5.07 marriage registrations per 1,000 people, leading to worries about the impact on birthrate and population structure,” a press release issued by the ministry said.
“In 2010, the marriage rate rose to six marriage registrations per 1,000 people and in 2011 to 7.13 — due to the centennial of the founding of the Republic of China. It then dropped to 6.12 and 6.32 marriages per 1,000 people in 2012 and last year respectively,” the ministry said.
In actual numbers, a total of 117,099 couples registered their marriages in 2009, 143,384 in 2010 and 147,636 in 2011, but there were only 26,285 registrations in 2012 and 30,539 last year.
The ministry attributed the growth to various policies, such as compensation and subsidies for housing, childbirth, education and childcare.
However, some couples married in recent years said that their decision to marry was not affected by government policy.
“What policies? I’ve never heard of any government policy encouraging people to get married. Our decision has nothing to do with the government,” said a man who wished to be known as Andy and who married in 2011.
Andy’s wife, Diana, also said that she had not heard about compensation or subsidies applicable to them as a married couple.
A woman, surnamed Lee (李), who married in 2010, said she would like to thank the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), “because, it was the anti-government protests that threw me together with my husband. Before, we were just friends.”