Chinese Divorce Rate Surges

Simplified procedures, one-child policy may be factors
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 3:00 PM CST
A Chinese woman watches videos showing domestic violence and marriage breakdowns at an exhibition in Shanghai in this 2007 file photo. Divorce rates in China are rising rapidly. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Chinese divorce rate shot up 18.2% last year, the Guardian reports. It's not a huge surprise: Simplified divorce proceedings have contributed to the long-term trend, and the social stigma appears to have dwindled considerably. Some sociologists have an additional theory: China's one-child policy has created a generation of spoiled kids who are unable to sustain relationships as adults.

About 1.4 million Chinese couples divorced in 2007, quadruple the 1980 total. Women's growing financial independence makes it easier for them not to settle, says a Women’s Studies Institute of China researcher. Although they aren’t “losing faith in marriage—they are looking for marriages of higher quality," she said. The number of marriages, by the way, increased by 12% in 2007.