updated 12 Nov 2011, 16:45
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Wed, Jun 29, 2011
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Men don't mind marrying up now
by Reico Wong

More Singapore men are having fewer qualms about marrying women more highly educated than them, judging by marital data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics yesterday.

Over the last decade, there was a huge jump in the number of men marrying women with higher educational qualifications than themselves - a finding which spanned across both non-Muslim and Muslim marriages.

The proportion of non-Muslim grooms with primary or lower education who married brides with at least secondary- school qualifications spiked from 46 to 67 per cent between 2000 and last year.

The number among Muslim grooms saw a parallel high jump from 44 to 66 per cent.

Similarly, the proportion of graduate brides who got hitched to graduate grooms also dipped. It fell from 78 per cent in 2000 to 75 per cent last year for non-Muslim marriages, and from 50 per cent to 43 per cent for Muslim marriages.

Overall, marriages last year registered the first annual decline since 2003, falling by 6.6 per cent from the year before to hit 24,363.

The fact that educational qualifications no longer appear to be a major factor in how Singaporeans pick their life partners does not surprise couples mypaper spoke to.

Ms Ashly Sim, 28, has a Masters of Arts in literary studies and works in the administrative line. She tied the knot with her husband in March this year, despite strong objections from her parents.

He holds an Institute of Technical Education diploma.

"Education level isn't a factor in marriage and I don't think it should be a factor either, when you're making friends," Ms Sim explained.

"Some people just don't do as well in their studies. It doesn't mean they are bad or stupid.

"My husband is a fine man with ethics and morals, and who always puts his family first. The reasons I fell for him had nothing to do with educational qualifications."

Ms Jessica Tan, 32, shares the same sentiments. The financial analyst has a university degree while her husband has a polytechnic diploma. The couple have been happily married for the past three years.

"Society has been progressing over the years and women nowadays have as many opportunities to study. We're no longer as dependent on the men to bring home the bacon," she said.

"A more important factor is your spouse's personality. The marriage will work as long as both parties love each other and can contribute in different ways."

Yesterday's data also showed that inter-ethnic marriages have been on the uptrend.

Last year, 20 per cent of all marriages, or 4,928 marriages, were inter-ethnic ones. This is up from the 12 per cent recorded a decade ago. Specifically, mixed marriages among Muslim marriages climbed to 33 per cent while that for non-Muslim marriages reached 18 per cent.

Of the 3,550 non-Muslim inter-ethnic marriages registered last year, about half were between Chinese grooms and brides of "Others" ethnic groups.

Overall, the general marriage rate in Singapore fell to a historic low.

For every 1,000 single male residents here, there were 39.4 marriages last year. This was a drop from the rate of 43.6 marriages per thousand in 2009.

The rate of marriages among single women living here also dipped from 41.1 to 37.2 for every 1,000 unmarried females during the same period.

Marriage rates fell most significantly among younger individuals below 30 years old, with those between ages 25 and 29 experiencing the largest fall compared to a decade ago.

However, the peak age group for women marrying still remained at between 25 and 29 years, while that for men has shifted to between 30 and 34 years.
Singapore men and women are also continuing the trend of tying the knot later in life.

The median age for grooms during their first marriage climbed from 28.7 years in 2000 to 30 years last year. The brides' age also rose from 26.2 years to 27.7 years.

Marital dissolutions - which comprised divorces and annulments - also rose last year. They numbered 7,405, up slightly from the 7,386 divorces and annulments recorded in 2009.


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readers' comments
of course la, i also like to marry up what, but the woman don't want to marry down

i also wish my wife taller than me, i will feel proud, but the woman don't want shorter man what ...that is the reality

unless you tom cruise la, all his wives taller than him ...
Posted by jameslee58 on Sat, 9 Jul 2011 at 22:56 PM
Gee.... uncle Singaporean or not????? :p

Our society sure accept 1 man 3 wives.... all you need to do is "potong" to remove that collar around your neck..... :D :D

Go middle east... you can even have 6 wives.... keeping Friday your restday... :D

Posted by Small Fly on Sat, 9 Jul 2011 at 14:27 PM
if society is able to accept 1man 3wives, i dun mind
Posted by thecabbymancare on Sun, 3 Jul 2011 at 20:35 PM
if society is able to accept man as househusband, woman bring money home. Man not labelled as "eat soft rice" (relay on woman for a living). Everything is possible.
Posted by chapgormei on Sun, 3 Jul 2011 at 20:10 PM

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