Fewer Chinese marrying foreignersPosted: 02/13/2014 2:46 pm
It’s a tired cliché: the poor laowai who arrives in China and ends up marrying a Chinese woman, who likely wrongly concluded the laowai had money just because he’s, well, a laowai. Perhaps Chinese girls are catching on though, because there has been a rather steep decline in the number of Chinese-foreign marriages in China in recent years.
There were 79,000 Chinese-foreign marriages at their peak in 2001, which declined to only 49,000 marriages in 2010. It should be noted this is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the eight million marriages registered in China each year. Nonetheless it does show a trend.
The China Policy Institute says the most common type of Chinese-foreign marriage is between a woman from Mainland China and a man from Hong Kong:
Marriages between PRC citizens and foreign nationals comprise the second largest category of Chinese-foreign marriages registered in mainland China between 1979 and 2010. Around 300 foreign nationals registered such a marriage in 1979. That figure rose to a peak of over 26,000 people in 2001 and declined to nearly 23,000 in 2010. There is no reliable information available regarding the countries of origin of these foreign nationals. However, media reports suggest that foreign spouses come from around the globe.
The reasons for the decline are subject to speculation, but the slowing economy, crackdown on foreigners without proper work permits, and general trend of foreigners leaving China may hold some of the clues. Or, more likely, the tastes of Chinese women may be changing.