China’s Rapidly Increasing Divorce Rate

24 Feb

The divorce rate in China is displayed to be rapidly on the rise with a year on year increase of 40% in urban areas. In 2013, 39,075 divorces where recorded in China, a number that has been on the rise over the last 7 years. Reasons for this can be explained through policies such as the ‘five regulations’ making purchases of 2nd homes for families and couples very expensive in tax and therefore leading to suggestions of divorce to avoid this. There have also been connections linking the legacy of the one-child policy to the increasing divorce rates in China today. It is suggested that the 1980’s generation left sibling less by the one-child policy are often selfish and unable to compromise therefore making marriage a difficult task. The rapid divorce increase in China’s urban areas can also be seen to be down to the increasing education and high positioning of women, therefore making them independent and able to divorce their partners. Finally ideas of the changing attitudes in China have been linked to rising divorce rates. Previously divorce in China was a humiliating and community involved process however urbanisation and a loosening of traditional values has made divorce in China a much easier and more socially acceptable procedure.

China’s divorce rate is still relatively low compared to other parts of the world with divorce taking place in only 1.6 out of 1000 marriages, however this is a significant rise from the average of 0.4 out of 1000 in 1985. Specific areas are highlighted as problematic contributors such as Beijing’s divorce rate of 39% compared to the national average of 2.2%. Therefore suggesting urban regions need to be areas of consideration with changing attitudes towards marriage and divorce.

China Daily (2013) ‘Divorce cases rapidly up, property tax to blame’, 29 October [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 24 February).


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