BEIJING: Over 4,500 couples register for divorce each day in China due to population controls and social and lifestyle changes in the world’s most populous nation, state press reported.
According to the Civil Affairs Ministry, 848,000 couples registered for divorce in the first half of the year, up nearly 10 percent over the same period last year, the Legal Evening News said in a report late Monday.
The number of couples splitting up in China has increased by nearly eight percent every year since 2003, when the government simplified regulations on divorce, the paper said.
Also contributing to higher divorce rates was the fact that couples had more freedom and money to split up. Extra-marital affairs and couples living apart from each other were another factor, it said.
“As children hold families together, when the birth rate is high, divorce rates are relatively lower,” the paper said referring to China’s “one-child” family planning policy.
More divorces occurred in urban areas, like Shanghai, where population control policies are more strictly implemented than in rural areas, it said.
In 2009, about 1.8 million couples registered for divorce in China, compared to 1.2 million in 2000, the paper said.
The paper did not reveal China’s current divorce rate, but in 1979, only 0.3 percent of those married divorced. This rose to one percent in 2000, it added.