Chinese divorce rates are skyrocketing after decades of low divorce rates. China has long held conservative views about marriage and divorce, with most families considering divorce to be shameful. But things are quickly changing, including Chinese divorce rates.
Chinese Divorce To Get More Compensation
Most of the 160 plus couples in a village in eastern China have filed for divorce to be entitled to more compensation for the demolition of their homes. The residents of Jiangbei village in Nanjing, Jiangsu province are facing mass eviction to make way for a new hi-tech zone .
Villagers said that a couple was entitled to 220 square metres of compensated housing. However, after a divorce, one keeps the compensated house while the one that moves out gets 70 square meters of housing plus 131,000 yuan in in cash.
A man in his 80s who divorced his wife said the compensation was worth it even though they had enjoyed a good marriage. Another resident said it did not concern him if he remarried his wife.”It’s not something I care for now,” he said. “Everyone is doing it. We’ll deal with the other matters later.”
Most of the divorced couples were still living together, the report said.
Chinese Divorce Rates Climb
The divorce rate in China increased to 3.9 percent in 2015, with 3.63 million couples bringing their marriage to an end, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The rate has been rising for twelve consecutive years since 2003.
A Chinese magazine interviewed couples about their reasons for divorce in June of that year, concluding that the mass adoption of social media across China is partially responsible for the rising divorce rate in China. A lot of couples think that social media has turned them away from each other.
Other interviewees do not believe that social media is the biggest reason for the increasing rates of divorce. Some think that the higher divorce rate can be explained by the social progress and growing gender equality in China.
The divorce rate in China would have kept rising without the existence of social media, as society is modernising and gender becomes more equal. Women now know how to protect themselves in cases of domestic violence or extramarital affairs. Plus, Chinese women are becoming more educated and are able to access high-paying jobs, which means they can support themselves without the need of a husband.
Young Chinese women are beginning to live out the attitude that: “Getting divorced is not the end of the world. On the contrary: it could be the beginning of a new happy life.”
Is China’s One Child Policy To Blame?
China’s famous one-child policy created a generation of sibling-less children. This policy is extremely controversial locally and worldwide and has been blamed for an increase in forced abortions, female infanticide, and a growing sex ratio imbalance.
In addition to these serious concerns, it seems that the products of China’s radical family planning policy, the post-1980s generation, is accused of being selfish, apathetic to the needs of others, and being unwilling or incapable of compromise. All this is posited to be the result of growing up as a cherished and overly coddled only child without siblings to interact with. The combination of these personality traits in both spouses seems to be a major contributor to marital strife in many Chinese marriages.
The post-1980s generation is also reportedly extremely impulsive. This impulsive attitude has been theorized to be one reason why Chinese couples today are falling in love very quickly, getting hastily married, and then filing for even hastier divorces. An increasing amount of couples get married and then divorced after only a few months, while in some extreme cases, couples are filing for divorce only a few hours after getting married.
Chinese Divorce Rates In Rural Areas Remain Low
Skyrocketing Chinese divorce rates, access to education and securing high-paid employment only applies to women in urban areas, where the divorce rate is much higher than in rural China. Nearly 40 percent of marriages in Beijing end in divorce – a remarkable peak compared to the national divorce rate of 2.67 percent. Chinese women in big cities and urban regions now have more opportunities for higher education leading to well-paid jobs, which makes them financially independent. Young women in China don’t need to rely on their husband to support them anymore. Thus, money is no long the reason for not getting a divorce.
In rural areas, however, people are still not that tolerant of divorce. Many women are forced to stay in a broken marriage in order not to ruin their families’ reputation. It would also be more difficult for a divorced woman in rural China to find another man who is willing to marry her.
Divorce In China Has Become Cheap and Easy
Unlike couples in other countries like Australia that are required to separate for a period of time before they can legally file for divorce, separation is not required in China. Couples can quickly, easily, and privately file for divorce. The divorce fee is less than two dollars and even free of charge in some cities.