Divorces Sky Rocket in China During 2007

February 1, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: February 1, 2008 12:00 am

Recently China's Civil Administration Department announced that during 2007 there were close to 1.4 million marriages that ended in divorce.

According to Chinese media, the concerned authority said that compared to 2006, the divorce rate has increased 18.2 percent, while the marriage rate only increased 11.8 percent.

Divorced In A Day!

Some said that the one-child-policy in China has created a new generation who only care about themselves instead of seriously entering a marital relationship. Some experts attribute the soaring divorce rate to a change in the law, making divorce easier and easier. Passed in 2003, the amendment has shortened the divorce process down to one day. In the past, married couples needed the approval of their working department or neighborhood committee before they can divorce.

The 2007 increase is viewed by an expert as a part of a long-term trend. The divorced population has multiplied four fold since the economic reform that occurred at the end of the 1970's. The vigorous economic growth enjoyed by so many has created a generation of “small emperors” and “small princesses.” As products of the Communist Party's birth control policy, this generation has grown up placing first priority on themselves and their own needs.

Experts claim that as a result of the one-child policy, many children in this generation were totally spoiled by parents and grandparents. While their elders and parents deemed marriage as a responsibility and divorce as a shame, the single child does not know how to maintain relationships. It is a stark contrast.

Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences researcher Xu Anqi said, “The increase in the divorce rate does not mean Chinese people have lost faith in the marriage system.” Now people have more expectations. Things that were tolerable ten years ago have become intolerable today.”

When Two Equals One

Xu also thought that calculations used in the divorce statistics are muddled and mixed. The definition was vague, and the frequency was mixed with head counts. The Chinese Demography Dictionary catalogs each divorced person as an individual divorce case. As a result, when a couple gets divorced, the divorce is counted twice. These unreliable numbers cannot clearly represent the current Chinese divorce phenomenon.