Nov 3, 2021Gen Z women in urban China say 'I don't' to marriage

Young Chinese women living in urban areas are fighting against the cultural pressure to tie the knot. With many young women adopting modern values and prioritising their own needs over love, brands would do well to align with these values and empower female independence.

Salomé Silva

Almost half (44%) of young urban Chinese women don't plan on ever getting married, compared to 25% of men who say the same. Some of the reasons why they're reluctant to do so include not having the time, money, or energy. And whilst a third say they've never been in love or don’t believe in marriage, 60.8% say it's difficult to find the right person. These progressive modern attitudes show a shift away from traditional expectations whilst threatening the growing demographic crisis in China. “In recent years, more and more young people are wandering outside the marriage hall,” reads a report by the Youth League Committee. “It has become a potential risk for the whole of society.”

China is grappling with a demographic crisis as its population growth has been the slowest since the 1950s. And even as the Chinese government tries to rectify the situation with the implementation of a three-child policy, this will have little impact as young women focus on putting themselves first – which can also be seen amongst Japanese women. Indeed, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics, the number of people entering a first marriage has dropped by 41%, from 23.8 million in 2013 to 13.9 million in 2019. Brands would do well to empower female independence in a challenging landscape – SK-II, for example, helps keep the peace between generations and their conflicting values.

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