Apple Daily ran a short piece on stats from the Ministry of Interior on marriage in Taiwan, noting that the reason for the falling rate of marriage, which matches Taiwan's falling birth rates, is commonly known as "2 Low 4 High"...
根據《好房網》報導，截至2014年底為止，內政部統計30至34歲人口有將近5成未婚，25至29歲的未婚比例更高達8成。統整出結果後發現，就是這以下「2低4高」的因素讓七年級生、甚至八年級生遲遲不敢成家生子。The two lows are the low salaries and low social welfare benefits for having children. The four highs are long work hours, high cost of children, high price of housing, and the high hidden costs (such as the health effects on the woman). Housing is an especial obstacle since custom requires that the man have purchased a house.
According to a report from HouseFun News, as of the end of 2014, statistics from the Ministry of the Interior showed that 50% of those aged 30-34 remain unmarried, while for the 25-29 group the figure was 80%. Overall statistics show that the "2 Low, 4 High" keep those born in the 80s and 90s from forming a family and having children.
To which I would add that many females aren't getting married because of social factors not included here. Intelligent and accomplished females have great trouble finding mates in most places, but in Taiwan especially, where there is a widespread preference among males for women less intelligent than they are. I bump into this problem again and again in my interactions with older male grad students: "Why don't you ask X out? She's good looking, and super smart." "She is too smart" comes the unvarying answer. Females, especially those living alone and employed, come to treasure their personal freedom and dread the terrible family obligations that local culture places on them -- weekends wasted visiting the in-laws, the necessary service to the mother-in-law, the fulfilling of expected roles and behaviors on a constant basis. Consequently many choose to remain unmarried. Males can live with mom without stigma. Society also has become more relaxed about couples living together and about homosexuality.
Recall too that at the bottom of the social pyramid, many Taiwanese working class females can't find husbands because those men have imported a wife from China or Vietnam. Our picture of the single woman as a self-aware independent unmarried Taipei office girl is unrepresentative. There is also a group of females who are kept home to take care of mom and dad and who are told that marriage would be leaving the family and thus, betraying it. I have met several such females, and I suspect the pressure must be subtle and widespread.
As people enter their 30s their friends start going through divorces, and their picture of marriage becomes less and less positive. Why get married?
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