There was a sharp spike in the number of people who got married
here last year with more than 340,000 people tieing the knot.
The city's civil affairs bureau reports that 171,299 couples
register for marriage in 2006, up 77 percent from the previous
year, and the highest number in 25 years.
The children of a 1980's baby boom have come of age and they
made up most of the couples who were married last year, said a
bureau director Li Ziwei.
According to the Chinese zodiac the year of the dog plus the
lunar calendar's unusual double spring in 2006 made it a
particularly good year for unions. This coming year, the year of
the pig, is also a good year to have a baby.
City officials earlier said they are expecting another baby boom
and the increase in marriages appears to signal its start. Many of
the young couples were raised as single children which entitles
them to have a second child.
The number of permanent Beijing residents marrying non-permanent
residents jumped to 40 percent of newly weds last year. In 2001,
only 28 percent of Beijingers married people from outside the
capital, said Li.
The number of people who were marrying for a second time also
increased last year.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2007)