TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of marriages in Taiwan has dropped to a new low in over a decade, with only 121,702 couples having registered as partners in 2020.
According to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), the number of newly registered marriages last year was down 12,822 from 2019 and the lowest since 2009, when 116,392 were recorded during the global financial crisis. The crude marriage rate, or the number of marriages registered during a calendar year per 1,000 members of a population, was 0.00516 percent for 2020.
Among the 121,702 new marriages registered last year, 2,387 were between same-sex couples, a slight decline from the previous year when Taiwan legalized gay marriage. Meanwhile, 91.3 percent of the marriages were between Taiwanese nationals, and 8.7 percent were between Taiwanese and their foreign spouses.
Foreigners who wedded Taiwanese in 2020 are mainly from China, Vietnam, Japan, and the U.S. Although the number of male foreign spouses is still much lower than that of their female counterparts, it is increasing at a faster pace.
Uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic were the main contributing factor to the lower marriage rate, the MOI explained. It added that the country also observed its first population drop in modern history last year, decreasing to 23,561,236 people as a result of a lower fertility rate and a reduced influx of foreign residents.