Marriage and divorce

Both marriage and divorce rates have increased in the Asia/Pacific region since 2005 (Figure 2.7 and Figure 2.8). The increase in the crude marriage rate across Asia/Pacific was limited, but it contributed to crude marriage rates in the region being almost 1.5 times higher than the average across OECD countries. Crude marriage rates are highest at over nine marriages per 1 000 adults in Fiji, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; they are around four marriages per 1 000 adults in Australia, Korea, New Zealand and Thailand.

Since 2005, crude divorce rates have increased in most Asia/Pacific countries – and by around 25% across the region on average, while crude divorce rates in China more than doubled. In contrast, crude divorce rates fell among the OECD countries in the Asia/Pacific region – Australia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.

Across the Asia/Pacific the mean age of first marriage has increased by 3 years on average since 2005 (Figure 2.9). In 2005, the mean age at first marriage across the selected Asia/Pacific economies was 24.0 years for women and 27.4 years for men. By 2019, the mean age at first marriage had increased to 27.5 years for women and to 30.1 years for men, still some 3 to 3.5 years below the OECD average for men and women. A strong tendency of postponing marriages is observed across Asia/Pacific economies, but large cross-national differences remain: since 2005, the mean age at first marriage has increased by about four years among men and women in Armenia, while change was much more limited in New Zealand and Singapore where the mean age of first marriage for men increased by less than a year. Only in Viet Nam, is the mean age for women in 2019 slightly lower than in 2005.


[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020), Marriages and Divorces, Australia,

[6] KOSIS (2020), KOrean Statistical Information Service,

[2] OECD (2021), OECD Family Database Asia/Pacific,

[5] Statistics Bureau Japan (2021), Statistical Handbook of Japan 2021,

[4] Stats NZ Tatauranga Aotearoa (2020), Marriages, civil unions, and divorces: Year ended December 2020,

[1] UN Demographic Yearbook (2019), Demographic and Social Statistics,

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