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According to data from the latest census report, men usually marry for the first time at the age of 31, while they used to do so at 29 in 1991.
Women have seen the age of marriage pushed to 29 from 26 over the same 25-year period.
“The government hasn’t done much,” said To, a part-time lecturer at University of Hong Kong’s Department of Sociology.
“People marrying at an older age will lead to fewer or no children, and hence an ageing population.” To said the high economic pressure faced by those living in Hong Kong had also put many off having children, and suggested that the government give tax deductions to married couples and people with child dependents.
“In the past, Hong Kong women might have been less inclined to marry mainland Chinese men, but in recent years the cultural and socio-economic gap has been narrowed,” Chan added.Chan said that long working hours, the slow increase in incomes for the younger generation and rocketing property prices were among the reasons people hesitated to marry and have children.Ng Mei-ling, founder of dating agency Hong Kong Matchmakers, observed that policymakers in Singapore, Taiwan and Japan were“actively initiating, executing and subsidising matchmaking services to help their people find life partners”.“The Hong Kong government is the only government that is not involved in matchmaking, and I wish it would be,” said Ng, who has worked in the industry for over 10 years. And now with the proliferation of online dating apps and websites, it can be even more daunting.