An analysis of age at first marriage of China's population

Popul Res. 1985 Oct;2(4):27-35.


PIP: This study examines age at first marriage in China, using data from the 1982 10% sample of the population census. Among the married population of July 1, 1982, most men married for the first time at 23; by 24.08 years, half the men were married; the average age at first marriage was 25.49 years. Most women had their first marriage at 20; half were married before the age of 21.9; their average age at first marriage was 22.8 years. Among geographic groupings, the age at marriage is highest for Shanghai populations for both men (27.82 years) and women (25.76 years). The lowest age at marriage is 23.74 years for Heilongjiang Province and 21.44 for women in Qinghai Province. Female age at marriage tends to be higher in the East and South than in the West and North, and higher in coastal than inland areas. The geographic distribution of male age at marriage differs from that of women. Men commonly marry the earliest in the 3 Northeast provinces. Men marry later in Sichuan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Anhui, and shandong than in Beijing and Tianjin. In general, men tend to marry later than women, but the disparity is usually small. Since the revolution, female age at marriage has steadily risen. China's age at marriage is several years lower than that of Japan. Economic development and education levels have a strong impact on female age at marriage. However, female age at marriage has declined in very recent years, suggesting a more complex interaction between age at marriage and socioeconomic factors. Promoting late marriage is essential to controlling population growth.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • China
  • Demography*
  • Developing Countries
  • Far East
  • Geography*
  • Marriage*
  • Population Characteristics*
  • Population*
  • Sex Factors*