SINGAPORE — Both marriages and divorces declined in 2018, according to the “Statistics on Marriages and Divorce, 2018” publication released on Tuesday (30 July) by the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS).
A total of 27,007 marriages were registered in 2018, 4.3 per cent lower than the 28,212 marriages registered in 2017. According to DOS, the decline was due to a fall in both civil and Muslim marriages.
The average number of marriages over the last five years was 27,984, higher than the average of 26,378 between 2009 and 2013.
As for divorces and annulments, a total of 7,344 marriages ended in a divorce or an annulment in 2018, a decrease of 3.1 per cent from the 7,578 marital dissolutions in the previous year.
This was due to the decline in civil marital dissolutions, which more than offset a slight increase in Muslim divorces.
From 2014 to 2018, the average number of marital dissolutions was 7,473, a slight increase compared to 7,397 in the preceding five-year period.
Marriage, divorce rates for both sexes fell
The general marriage rate and divorce rate for both sexes also fell last year, as compared to figures in 2017.
The general marriage rate for males was 43.3 marriages per thousand unmarried males aged 15-49 years in 2018, down from 45.7 in 2017. Similarly for females, the 2018 rate was 40.8 marriages per thousand unmarried females aged 15-49 years, down from 42.8 the year before.
Meanwhile, there were 6.7 male divorcees for every thousand married males aged 20 years and over in 2018, lower than the rate of 6.9 in 2017 and 7.1 in 2016. The rate for females was 6.3 female divorcees for every thousand married females aged 20 years and over in 2018, down from 6.5 in 2017 and 6.6 in 2016.
Median age for marriage, divorce
DOS also reported that, between 2008 and 2018, the median age at first marriage for grooms rose from 29.8 years to 30.2 years. For brides, the median age also increased from 27.3 years to 28.5 years.
In the same time period, the percentage of inter-ethnic marriages continued to increase. In 2018, 22.4 per cent of total marriages were between grooms and brides of different ethnic groups, an increase from 16.7 per cent in 2008.
The median age at divorce also rose over the last decade – 43.2 years and 38.9 years for male and female divorcees respectively in 2018, up from 39.9 years and 36.3 years in 2008.
The average duration of marriage for divorces in 2018 was 10.2 years, slightly longer than the 9.9 years in 2008. Couples who were married for five to nine years accounted for the largest share (29.3 per cent) of all divorces in 2018.
The report and accompanying materials are available on the SingStat website.
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