Fewer marriages, divorces in 2018
People are waiting longer to get married, with marriages lasting longer as well
The number of marriages in Singapore has gone down, along with the number of divorces, according to the latest figures from the Department of Statistics.
Released yesterday, the figures also showed that while the number of couples registered to be married in 2018 was the lowest in five years, the yearly average number of marriages over the last five years was 27,984 - higher than the average of 26,378 between 2009 and 2013.
There were 27,007 marriages registered last year, a 4.3 per cent fall from the 28,212 marriages registered in 2017.
The decrease in the number of marriages in 2018 included both civil and Muslim marriages.
However, the number of inter-ethnic marriages continued to rise over the years.
In 2018, 22.4 per cent of total marriages were between men and women of different ethnic groups, an increase from 16.7 per cent in 2008.
In 2018, 7,344 marriages ended in a divorce or an annulment, a decrease of 3.1 per cent from the 7,578 marital dissolutions in the previous year.
The decrease was due to the fall in divorces or annulments among non-Muslim couples, "which more than offset the slight increase in Muslim divorces", the Department of Statistics said in its release.
Commenting on the statistics, Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF), Mr Desmond Lee, in a Facebook post titled Building strong marriages and families together, said he is encouraged that the number of divorces has fallen between 2017 and 2018.
He added: "We will continue to strengthen support for divorcing families. The Committee to Review and Enhance Reforms in the Family Justice System (or RERF for short) - formed by MSF with the Ministry of Law and the Family Justice Courts - is looking at how we can reduce the hostility and conflict in their journey for more positive family outcomes.
"They are finalising their recommendations, and we will release them for public consultation soon."
Figures from the Department of Statistics also indicated that more people are waiting longer to get married, and married couples are staying together for longer.
The median age at first marriage for men has gone up from 29.8 years to 30.2 years and for women from 27.3 years to 28.5 years, between 2008 and 2018.
In 2018, the median marriage length was 10.2 years, slightly longer than the 9.9 years in 2008.
The median age for divorced men in 2018 was 43.2 years, up from 39.9 years in 2008. The median age for divorced women last year was 38.9 years, up from 36.3 years in 2008.