When I was a teenager, I used to think that 23 was a reasonable age to get married. As I got older, my perceptions about marriage changed and the older I got, the older my age of acceptability got as well. I thought they were just my own thoughts about marriage, but maybe it was something more universal. Although we’ve written about marriage trends in the US, Some recent articles about marriage in Asia got my attention. From all the way around the world, marriage is changing and becoming less important. But it looks different there than it does here. Here are a few interesting research findings about marriage in Asia:
- People are delaying marriage. In Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong—the mean age for marriage is 29-30 for women, 31-33 for men (Jones, 2010)
- More people aren’t getting married at all. The percentage of those never married before age 40 has been on the rise. For those in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, 15-20% of women were “never married” before 40. In the West, marriage is being replaced by cohabitation; however in Asian countries this does not seem to be the case.
- Educated woman are less likely to marry. Women with more education, income, and therefore autonomy are least likely to marry. This is the opposite trend compared to those in the US and Europe, where marriage is more common among those more educated. For many Asian men, the opposite is true.
Continue reading this article to find out why experts think this trend is occurring and if it is universal across all Asian countries.