Why are people not getting married anymore?

A record number of people in the U.S., China, Japan and the U.K., are opting out of marriage. The decline is especially strong in the middle and working class – the socioeconomic groups that were once champions of marriage. In Japan and South Korea, marriage and birth rates are correlated and a downward trend may foreshadow a brewing population crisis.

Almost 90% of the world’s population now live in countries with falling marriage rates. In the U.S., marriage has declined by 60% since the 1970s, while the median age for first marriages has increased for both men and women.

“There are a couple of big factors here in play. One major factor is the changing economy,” said Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at University of Virginia.

The phenomenon affects many countries across the world but it’s most pressing in east and south Asia, where marriage and childbirth are highly correlated.

“Governments all over the world are worried because of economic implications,” said Leng Leng Thang of National University of Singapore.

The decline in marriage rates is turning into a demographic crisis for Japan — which is the world’s third-largest economy and home to the world’s oldest population.

And a similar problem is troubling authorities in China, which registered the fewest marriages in 2022 since public records began.

“By 2050, China’s working population will be reduced by 10%, and not enough babies will be born to fill that gap. The dependent population, those who reach retirement age, will double,” warned Ye Liu from King’s College London.

Watch the video above to learn what causes increasing number of couples around the world to opt out of marriage.

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