Marriage entry and real estate

Newlywed photo session at Haikou beach, Hainan, Goulard Sébastien

In September 2013, the Population Studies Center of the University of Michigan released a research report on how the factors for marriage entry in China have evolved1.

The authors, Jia Yu and Yu Xie, explore the determinants of marriage age in China and the changes caused by economic reforms.

Their study, based on the 2005 mini-census, reveals that in urban China people marry later and are more selective in their choice of partner than in the past.

This paper suggests that the timing of marriage is related to employment status, education and real estate prices. In the pre-reform era, people with less education tended to get married earlier. However, this has changed with the economic reforms. People (and especially men) with less education have become undesirable as marriage partners, as they lack financial resources to support a family.

The most interesting part of this study regards the impact of real estate prices on when people get married. Because of privatization and marketization, real estate prices have increased dramatically since the early 1980s, and young couples need to save first to afford to live together and get married. In cities with high housing prices, marriage is often delayed, but graduates get married earlier, as they have a higher social position and earn more. People in poverty or without stable jobs face many challenges if they wish to get married.

  1. Jia Yu & Yu Xie (2013). Changes in the determinants of marriage entry in post-reform urban China. PSC research report No. 13-802. September []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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Sebastien Goulard (March 24, 2014). Marriage entry and real estate. URBACHINA. Retrieved July 17, 2024 from

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