A recent report from the Department of Statistics has revealed that the number of divorces in Singapore is increasing, whilst the number of couples choosing to marry is decreasing, according to Channel News Asia.
Whilst 28,332 couples married last year, this number was slightly less than the 28,407 recorded in 2014. Meanwhile, there were 7,522 divorces, an increase of 2.9% on 2014’s 7,307 statistic.
Couples are waiting longer to get married, with the average age of a man having risen slightly to just over 30 and a woman at 28.
Mirroring trends seen elsewhere in the world, the report indicates that the number of older couples divorcing is also increasing. 42.4% of men and 27.5% of women were over the age of 45, compared to 30% and 20.1% respectively, in 2014. These statistics indicate that the age of both men and women filing for divorce has risen by two to three years in the space of 12 months.
There has been a significant rise in the number of inter-ethnic marriages in Singapore over the last ten years and these accounted for 21.5% of marriages last year. Just less than 34% of Muslim marriages were inter-ethnic.
There was little change in the length of the average marriage however, with around ten years remaining the static figure. Perhaps surprisingly, 18.3% of divorcing couples had been married for at least 20 years. Top of the list however were those couples who had been married for between five and nine years; a group which formed 31.5% of all divorce applications.
With regards to reasons cited for divorce in Singapore; in over half the cases, “unreasonable behaviour” was given as the main cause and startlingly, proceedings were initiated by the woman in 61.6% of the applications.
Within Muslim marriages, the principal reason given was infidelity, with this cited in more than one in five divorce applications. This was followed by desertion and financial problems.