11/04/2006, 00.00
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Marriage increases in Singapore, but so does divorce

The median age for first marriages is 31.2 years for non-Muslim men and and 27.7 for Muslims. Among women, it is 27.2 and 24.7 respectively. The largest increase in separations was registered in young couples aged between 20 and 24.

Singapore (AsiaNews) – Marriage is on the increase in Singapore but so is divorce, which is becoming increasingly common especially among young couples aged between 20 and 24 years.

According to the Department of Statistics, 22,992 marriages were registered last year, about 3.6% more than in 2004. But despite the upward trend of marriage in these past few years, the rates remained lower than the annual average of 24,800 registered during the 1990s. The median age for first marriages and remarriages also increased, by two to five years, over the past two decades. The median age for first marriages among men last year was 31.2 for non-Muslims and 27.7 for Muslims.

For women the median age was 27.2 years for non-Muslims and 24.7 for Muslims.

The oldest men were workers who went only to primary school or who had no education. The median ages for this category were 39 for non-Muslims and 32 years for Muslims. Even among non-Muslim women, the oldest brides were those with lower levels of education, with the median age at 28 years. But among Muslim brides, university graduates were the oldest, with the median age at first marriage at 27 years.

If the number of marriages has increased, so has the divorce rate. Last year, the number of marriages that ended in divorce rose by 8.16%. The total rose to 6,909 in 2005 from 6,388 in 2004. Younger couples registered the highest divorce rate and there was a smaller increase among older couples.

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