Taiwan's Divorce Rate Drops


Family attorneys in Pasadena have seen the global divorce rate explode over the last several years. From India to Italy, divorce has become a global hot topic and a universal issue. Asian countries like China and Japan have experienced major divorce growth since the economic crash of 2008. Yet the tiny nation of Taiwan is reporting a slow and steady drop in the divorce rate.

New government statistics released last week showed that 58,037 couples divorced in 2010, which is a big drop from the 63,230 average for the period of 2002 to 2006. The number of Taiwanese divorces from the first half of 2011 is roughly 11 percent lower than the daily average from 2010. The overall daily average has dropped from 179 in 2003 to 159 in 2010. The study found the largest number, 31 percent, of divorces happened to couples that had been married for more than five but less than fifteen years. Couples who were married for less than five years made up the second-largest group, with 27.7 percent. Much like in America, Taiwanese newlyweds are the most likely to divorce.

An in-depth look at the numbers from 2003 show that 40 percent of divorces took place during the first year of marriage, with the percentage dropping steadily after the first year. But in 2010, the biggest groups - who accounted for 30 percent of divorces - were couples that had been married for one year and couples that had been married for six years.

The previous spike in Tawian's divorce rate has largely been attributed to women's individualism. Wang Yun-tung, a National Taiwan University sociology professor, wrote in a recent article that high divorce rates can be related to rises in education and more job opportunities for women. He points out, however, that a higher divorce rate can also be a good thing because it can reflect a higher degree of economic independence among women and a freedom of personal choice.