The number of marriages in Singapore rose 8.2 per cent last year compared to 2013, while the number of divorces and annulments fell 2.9 per cent, according Department of Statistics (Singstat) data released on Wednesday (Jul 29).
However, many are choosing to marry later, according to the annual report on statistics on marriages and divorces. One in five marriages conducted is now inter-ethnic.
Singstat said a total of 28,407 marriages were registered in 2014, comprising 22,863 civil marriages and 5,544 Muslim marriages. This was up from the 26,254 total marriages registered the previous year.
Still, many are choosing to marry later, with marriage rates among those below 30 years old lower in 2014 compared to a decade ago, while the opposite trend was observed for those aged 30 years and above.
The peak age group for females marrying has shifted from 25-29 years old in 2004 to 30-34 years old in 2014, according to the data. For males, the peak age group remained unchanged at 30-34 years old.
The median age for marrying rose from 29.4 years old in 2004 to 30.2 years old for grooms in 2014, and from 26.7 years old to 28.2 years old for brides.
Inter-ethnic marriages have become more common, making up 20.4 per cent of marriages last year, up from 13.1 per cent in 2004.
FEWER DIVORCES, ANNULMENTS
A total of 7,307 marriages were dissolved last year, either through divorces or annulments – down 2.9 per cent from the 7,525 dissolutions in the previous year.
The decline was mainly due to a drop in the number of civil marital dissolutions from 5,863 in 2013 to 5,618 in 2014. The number of Muslim divorces remained comparable during the same period at 1,662 and 1,689, respectively.
The median age at divorce rose in the last 10 years, with males getting divorced at the median age of 42.6 and females at 38.4 last year, up from 39 years and 35.3 years, respectively, in 2004.
Among civil divorces in 2014, the top two main reasons for divorce were “unreasonable behaviour” (51.9 per cent) and “having lived apart or separated for three years or more” (44.8 per cent). Female plaintiffs constituted the majority (62.9 per cent) of civil divorces last year.
Among Muslim divorces, “infidelity or extra-marital affair” (21.9 per cent) was the top reason given for divorce in 2014. This was followed by “financial problems” (15.7 per cent) and “desertion” (11.8 per cent).