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Women in China Saying “No” to Marriage 

September 14, 2016
Plain English Version
Traditional formal Chinese wedding clothes.

Traditional formal Chinese wedding clothes.

It may just be a trend. Women in China are delaying marriage. The number of marriages each year is going down. Some women are coming to America to freeze their eggs. Children will come later.

What is the big reason? Women want education and jobs. That means they want to be independent.

China’s population was growing 35 years ago. The government started a “one child” policy. The policy ended in January of this year. When it ended, there was a surplus of men. This did not make it any easier to find the right man to marry. It also led to fewer people between the ages of 20 to 29. Those years are the prime age to marry.

There are more women among college students and graduate students. The women say they want to make money. They want to advance their careers.

What does it mean for China? First, it changes the drive to buy more consumer goods. Fewer marriages mean fewer households. So houses, cars and furniture purchases go down. Household appliances, such as rice cookers, are smaller. Engagement rings are not selling.

The government wants more spent on consumer goods. Chinese companies are trying to find ways to get people to spend money. It is harder when fewer children are being born.

These changes also affect the families of the young people. Older parents worry about their young single children. Children worry that they may not be able to take care of older parents. The changes are unsettling to Chinese traditional ways of life.

Chinese women will be older when they marry. Years from now they will have young children. At the same time, their parents may need their aid. This is the case now for many families in the U.S.

Source: The New York Times September 11, 2016

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