Less Singaporeans tying the knot, but divorce numbers are rising

Divorce figures continued to rise for the third consecutive year by the end of 2016, with fewer number of marriages registered during the same period, according to new data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics’ (Singstat).

7,614 marriages that broke down last year, according to a report by Todayonline. This is 1.2 per cent more than the 7,522 divorces and annulments in 2015, the official statistics revealed. 

The report, titled Statistics on Marriages and Divorces Reference Year 2016, noted that there was a rising number of dissolutions of civil marriages – from 5,855 in 2015 to 5,912 last year. Number of Muslim divorces also went up from 1,667 to 1,702 over the same period.

Photo courtesy: Wiki
Photo courtesy: Wiki

Remarriages among men were more prevalent than among women. In 2016, 16.6 per cent of the men who tied the knot had been married before, as compared to 14.8 per cent for women. 

Similar to an earlier Singstat finding for the period ending in 2015, this year’s report found that couples married between five and nine years accounted for the largest share  (31.1 per cent) of civil divorces in 2016, while couples married for nine years or fewer accounted for more than half (55.3 per cent) of Muslim divorces.

The top two reasons behind civil divorces, cited by the report, are unreasonable behaviour and having lived apart or separated for at least three years. Meanwhile, infidelity or an extra-marital affair was the top cause for break-ups among Muslim marriages last year.

In addition, over the past decade, there is a higher number of older couples are getting divorced. The proportion of male divorcees aged 45 years and above grew from 31.4 per cent in 2006 to 42.3 per cent in 2016. For female divorcees, the pool rose from 20 per cent to 28.4 per cent over the period. 

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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