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Divorces in Singapore hit record high

Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa
Published: Monday September 25, 2006

Singapore- Divorces in Singapore hit a record high last year as a result of poor preparation for marriage and changing expectations about family life, a Department of Statistics report said Tuesday. There were 6,909 divorces in 2005, 521 more than in 2004 and breaking 2003's record of 6,561.

The mounting splits came despite the government's ongoing campaign to encourage marriage and more babies to counter a critical drop in births. Population planners predict that the trend will result in Singaporeans unable to replace themselves.

"Marriage is a lifetime commitment," The Straits Times quoted Lim Soon Hock, chief of the National Family Council, as saying. "Few couples prepare themselves."

On the positive side, there were 803 more marriages registered last year than in 2004. Remarriages have also become increasingly common.

Among the trends that emerged was a fall in marriage rates for women across all age groups from 1995-2005. The same applied to men, except those aged 35 to 39.

The proportion of non-Muslim graduate brides marrying graduate grooms fell from 76 to 74 per cent, while the proportion of Muslim graduate brides marrying their educational equals remained unchanged at 44 per cent.

Wives filed for the majority of divorces. Half of non-Muslim divorces involved couples married for less than 10 years.

The largest proportion, 35 per cent, of Muslim divorces was among couples married for less than five years.

Muslims comprise 14 per cent of the population in the predominantly Chinese city-state.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa