The number of marriages increased, and divorce rate fell in Singapore last year, according to the Statistics on Marriages and Divorce 2017 publication released by the Department of Statistics (Singstat) today.
“Marriages totalled 28,212 in 2017, up 0.9 per cent up from the 27,971 in 2016. The increase was contributed by a rise in both civil and Muslim marriages in 2017,” said release issued by Singstat.
Revealing the statistics, Singstat said, “The general marriage rate for males increased from 44.4 marriages per 1,000 unmarried males aged 15 to 49 in 2016 to 45.7 in 2017. Similarly, for females, the rate rose from 41.6 marriages per thousand unmarried females aged 15 to 49 to 42.8 over the same period.”
However, about as far as the figure about dissolution of marriages is concerned, a total of 7,578 marriages ended in a divorce or an annulment in 2017, 0.5 per cent lower than the 7,614 divorces in the previous year.
“This was due to the decline in Muslim divorces, which more than offset the slight increase in civil divorces,” said Singstat.
The general divorce rate fell to 6.9 male divorcees for every 1,000 married males aged 20 and over in 2017, lower than the rate of 7.1 in 2016. Similarly, the rate for females fell to 6.5 per 1,000 married females aged 20 and over in 2017, from 6.6 in the previous year.
“The median age at divorce rose over the last 10 years. The median ages for male and female divorcees were 43.2 and 39.1 respectively in 2017, up from 39.8 and 36.1 in 2007,” revealed statistics from Singstat.
The median duration of marriage for divorces similarly rose, to 10.3 years in 2017, up from 9.6 years in 2007. Couples who were married for five to nine years accounted for the largest share (30.2 per cent) of all divorces in 2017.
One interesting figure emerged from the statistics that inter-ethnic marriages in Singapore is on the upsurge as it continued to increase in 2017 to 22.1 per cent of total marriages, up from 16.4 per cent in 2007.
Meanwhile, Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development of Singapore has assured that his ministry will continue to work to strengthen marriages and provide support for families where marriages have broken.
Through a Facebook post, Desmond Lee wrote, “Our Divorce Support Specialist Agencies conduct support programmes and counselling for divorced or divorcing families. For example, parents with children below 21 years of age and are unable to agree on divorce and ancillary matters, are required to undergo the Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) before they file for divorce.
“The MPP helps the parents understand the impact of their divorce on their children, prioritise their needs when making decisions, and hopefully reduce acrimony,” he added.